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Galana-Kulalu irrigation scheme will do better under Kenyan managers

Saturday July 04 2020

The Saturday Nation of May 30, on its front page, carried the headline that Galana-Kulalu project will revert to local management — at long last!Way back on November 7, 2015, the Daily Nation, in “Talking Point”, carried my Letter to the Editor in which I protested the contracting of foreign company to do what locals would do better — to no avail. I’ve been vindicated.My view was proved right when the foreigners demonstrated such ignorance that they could not even tell which maize cultivar would grow in the area and resorted to research. Of course, the information would have been instantly made available — and gratis, too — by the local agriculture office.And it would not have made the unjustifiable claim of a whopping Sh7 billion research study on that account!The Israeli contractor also avoided the free information that the land profile allowed gravity flow of water on furrows, making it unnecessary to import costly mechanical irrigation machinery.It has taken the government five years to conclude that a local option was prudent, hence the decision to revise its decision.Let us now hope that this belated change of heart will not only bring about the long-awaited success in the objective of Galana-Kulalu making the country food-sufficient, but also reduce our reliance on foreigners. Kenyans have the ability to solve their own problems.James Gichia Ngumy, Kiambu

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