Tanzania: Mwanga to Triple Irrigation Areas By June

MWANGA district in Kilimanjaro is set to triple the irrigation areas, thanks to a 1.06bn/- boost from the Central Government to complete the decade long project at Kirya ward.

The project, Kirya Irrigation Scheme, set up the irrigation area from the current 450 to 1250 hectares when completed in May this year.

The Mwanga District Commissioner, Mr Abdallah Mwaipaya, hailed the government for providing funds that enabled the implementation of many projects within the district including the Kirya Irrigation Project which was designed in 2011.

“The government fund will enable our district to be one of the country’s best food producers through the irrigation scheme,” Mr Mwaipaya said during the visit by Kilimanjaro’s CCM Regional Political Committee to inspect the implementation of the ruling party’s 2020-2025 Election Manifestos.

The project was delayed for almost a decade and had to be redesigned to suit the current status before the implementation began in this fiscal year.

The Kirya Irrigation Project Manager, Engineer Romward Robert, said the project will cover 1,250 hectares and its neighbourhoods out of the potential 1,600 hectares which are suitable for irrigation within the ward.

“The project is 100 per cent funded by the government through the National Irrigation Commission (NIRC) under the Irrigation Development Fund (IDF),” he said.

Mwanga is one of the semi-arid areas in Kilimanjaro. It experiences 400-600 mm of rainfall per annum in low lands and between 800-1200mm in the highlands.

There are two distinct rain seasons–short rains from October to December and long rains from March to June.

The district has a total surface area of 2641sq kilometres where land area is 2,558.6 sq km and water area is 82.4 sq km of which 56 sq km is covered with waters of Nyumba ya Mungu Dam and 26.4 sq km is covered with waters of Lake Jipe. The Pangani River passes through the district by 32km.

Speaking during the visit, the CCM Kilimanjaro Regional Chairman, Mr Patrick Boisafi, said the Kirya Irrigation is a big agricultural project that needs careful management and supervision for the benefit of not only the Mwanga but also Kilimanjaro and the country as whole.

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