National Irrigation Board, Israeli company summoned by Senate over Gulanu Kulalu failed project

The Senate Committee on Agriculture has summoned National Irrigation Board and the Israeli Company implementing the Sh.7 billion Galana Kulalu food security projects following a standoff between the two institutions.

This is after the committee establishes that there was infighting between Green Arava limited the Israeli company over the multi billion project.

The Committee led by Its Chairman Ochilo Ayako the senator for Migori County, Juma Wario (Tanariver) said the standoff was unnecessary as Kenyans were hungry and the flagship project is supposed to address food insecurity.

Ayako and his delegation spoke after holding a meeting with Kilifi County Governor Amason Kingi regarding the issue of Cashewnuts, Galana Kulalu project.

“Galana Kulalu is on the radar, it’s not doing well, there is little or no involvement t of counties,’’ he said.

The Projects which was estimated to cover over 1 million acres is located in Kilifi and Tanariver counties.

There has been an outcry from the authorities in the county and National level in the manner in which the project was being implemented.

Some suspect that Galana Kulalu food security project is a major scam as the government spent more than Sh. 7 billion and brought very little returns of the money spent.

Out of the Sh7.2 billion contract, the Government already given out Sh5.9 billion to the Israeli company.

Governor Kingi said counties have never been involved in the project despite the fact that Agriculture was a devolved function.

He said the mode of affecting the project if it will not be changed shall not yield any fruits to Kenyans.

“Counties have been kept in darkness, Agriculture is a devolved function it’s important for stakeholders to be involved,’” he said.

The Governor called on the Senate committee should check the constitution and interpret how the project was being implemented by the National government.

“The issue of Implementation is shaking Galana Kulalu it has caused huge losses,” he said

The phased implementation of the project comprises of 10,000-acre model farm as phase I, followed by 400,000-acre farm as phase II.

The construction of the 10,000-acre Model Farm commenced on 11th September 2014. The contract was awarded to Green Arava Ltd with funding by Government of Kenya through a financing loan from an Israeli Bank.

Kingi said the idea of the project was good inline with the Big four Agenda as it could feed the entire country and even the larger East Africa.

Reports indicate that Green Arava the Israeli company is at logger heads with NIB for allegedly failing to honor requests for payments before threatening to stop any further work until all its requests for payments are addressed.

On the Other hand the National irrigation Board is accusing the Green Arava of being rogue, failing to respond to numerous letters.

At one time the Green Arava Company left the site of the construction site which raised mixed reaction from Kenyans.

The Senate Committee on Agriculture however said currently the Israeli Company is on site but the major worry was about the standoff between them and the NIB.