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Kilifi County Assembly passes motion halting development of one million acre food project even as drought bites

Since it was launched more than three years ago only 5,000 acres out of the targeted one million have been put under crop.

Members of Kilifi County Assembly on Thursday passed a motion stopping the national government from making further investments in the Sh7 billion ($70M) Galana/Kulalu irrigation scheme until public participation can be done.

The motion tabled by Adu MCA Stanley Kenga, who is also the Deputy Speaker, directs Land and Agriculture executives to initiate measures to stop the multibillion shilling project.

While tabling the motion, Mr Kenga said residents of Kilifi ought to have been involved before initiating the project which has taken a lot of their resources.

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“The people ought to have been consulted before initiating the project which violated Section 114 of the County Governments Act, 2013 and part two of the Fourth Schedule of the Constitution,” he said.

“The project was initiated to address issues of hunger but we have nothing to show four years down the line and people in Chakama and other parts of Kilifi are still suffering from hunger,”

Speaker Jimmy Kahindi approved the motion after at least 26 MCAs passed it.

Since it was launched more than three years ago, only 5,000 acres out of the targeted one million have been put utilised on what was touted as a solution to cyclic hunger problems in the country.

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The Jubilee food security flagship project  is found  in Kilifi and Tana River Counties, counties worst hit by ongoing drought and currently depending on government relief food.

Mr. Kenga said while the concept of the project was good, the project has only added misery to the residents and has caused River Sabaki-Galana to dry up making life unbearable for thousands of residents who depended on it for domestic use, agriculture and fishing.

“If the project was to address the food security of Kilifi and Kenya, there should be something to make us proud five years down the line.

"The operation and execution of the project is a violation of the supreme law. Those who engineered the project violated the County Government Act," he added.

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