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Kenya rice farmers suffer huge loses

Posted by African Press International on April 13, 2013

  • By Maurice Alal, API Kenya
Farmers continue incurring losses estimated to run into millions of shillings as last season’s rice crop kept in poor conditions at Ahero National Irrigation Board (NIB) rots away in Nyando District of Kisumu County .
www.africanpress.me/ - A grain dryer

http://www.africanpress.me/ – A grain dryer

www.africanpress.me/ -Extreme state of negligence

http://www.africanpress.me/ -Extreme state of negligence

www.africanpress.me/ - Who will save the rice farmers?

http://www.africanpress.me/ – Who will save the rice farmers?

www.africanpress.me/ - Torn sacks pours rice on the dirty floor

http://www.africanpress.me/ – Torn sacks pours rice on the dirty floor

www.africanpress.me/ - Cooperative officials (Walter Angura (Vice Chairman), Emmanuel Nudi (Chairman) and Francis Nyamache alongside Ben Opolo and Oguma Kibondo at the facility

http://www.africanpress.me/ – Cooperative officials (Walter Angura (Vice Chairman), Emmanuel Nudi (Chairman) and Francis Nyamache alongside Ben Opolo and Oguma Kibondo at the facility

www.africanpress.me/ - Clearing the blocked drainage

http://www.africanpress.me/ – Clearing the blocked drainage

www.africanpress.me/ - Removing grass

http://www.africanpress.me/ – Removing grass

www.africanpress.me/ Serious state of negligence witnessed when API toured the facility

http://www.africanpress.me/ Serious state of negligence witnessed when API toured the facility

www.africanpress.me/ - Rice germinating due to the poor storage at the facility as one of the officials displays

http://www.africanpress.me/ – Rice germinating due to the poor storage at the facility as one of the officials displays

www.africanpress.me/ - Proper drying of rice should be as seen in this picture.

http://www.africanpress.me/ – Proper drying of rice should be as seen in this picture.

A survey by African Press International (API) established that the neglect at the rice drying and storage facility was not only attributable to failure by the local NIB top brass but also persistent wrangles threatening to balloon into a full-scale conflict.

It emerged that elections held on April 3, 2013 at the facility presided over by Muhoroni District Cooperative Officer (DCO), E. L. Tolo elected Moses Wayumba as the new Chairman, Sylvanus Munga (Vice Chairman), Clakson Abiero (Secretary), Ben Odhiambo (Treasurer).

Others members to the executive include; Ben Orimba, Camlus Onyango, John Odola, M/s Syprose Ojwang and Apollo Ayoo.

The cooperates also mandated the supervisory team to be headed by; Emmanuel Nudi (Chairman), Walter Angura (Vice Chairman) and Francis Nyamache with Ben Opolo and Oguma Kibondo as the support.

However, the former office bearers were only two people; Laban Akeyo (Chairman) and Mathews Ogallo Dodo (Secretary) who sidelined everyone else and took up all the responsibilities allegedly for narrow, selfish interests thus perpetuated corruption.

Ahero NIB storage facility has a storage capacity of approximately 80, 000 bags but in he last harvest season this was over-stretched prompting some farmers to sell their produce at a throw-away-prices for lack of storage space to curb losses.

The titanic battle for supremacy has seen the former officials lock out the new team by neither showing up at the agreed venue (facility) nor sending an apology explaining why they didn’t turn up for the meeting.

Ahero NIB is now over-grown with grass with the plastic sacs containing the rice yet to be milled torn, pouring most of the content on the dirty floor without any hope of anyone moving in to clear the mess.

Attempts by the writer to seek audience with Ahero NIB Manager, P. N. Langat proved futile as he was said to be away on official duty outside Kenya.

The whereabouts of the Engineer in whose hands Langat was said to have entrusted the management of Ahero NIB while away could not be traced, even though some of his apprehensive colleagues insisted that he was out for lunch with his jacket on the chair.

Inside sources confided to API that Ahero NIB drying and storage facility receives annual allocation of Kshs.1.5million for maintenance but the funds usually goes to line the pockets of a few corrupt people.

Nyando District Agricultural Officer (DAO), Tabitha Ajwang referred the writer to her Muhoroni counterpart, J. T. Kagunza but his phone went uanswere several times thus making it difficult to get the official position.

Muhoroni District Commissioner, Solomon Abwaku promised to take up the matter with the DAO (Kagunza) and DCO to chart the way forward on how best to navigate the rice farmers out of the poverty cycle attributed to poor management.

END

Photos By: Maurice Alal -API Kenya

 

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