150M small irrigation projects on course in Tana River

Counties Editor's Pick Social Tana River

Contractors of phase one of the Small Irrigation and Value Addition Projects (SIVAP) in Galole Constituency, are ahead of time to complete and hand over the projects to the communities ahead of the April deadline.

SIVAP National Project Coordinator, Engineer Kennedy Makidiuh, speaking in Hakoka during a site monitoring meeting in Hakoka, said the project’s percentage completion is at 80 per cent exuding confidence that they will be ready by April.

“All the projects had a time frame of six months. If we don’t have challenges, the projects will be ready by April,” said Makidiuh adding that all the 14 shallow wells have been drilled and water is sufficient.

He however urged the communities to prudently use and protect the projects against vandalism.

“Community beneficiaries should know that these projects will benefit them. They should jealously protect them as a lot of money has been used to implement them,” he said.

SIVAP is implemented by the State Department for Crop Development and Agricultural Research in 11 counties that include: Tana River, Makueni, Kajiado, Machakos, Bomet, Tharaka Nithi, Meru, Nyeri, Nyandarua and Kitui.

It aims at the reduction of poverty by enhancing agricultural productivity, income and food security in the eleven counties. Most of the counties are semi-arid and receive low to moderate rainfall.

SIVAP is projected to enhance irrigation infrastructures, water resource development and improve agricultural markets access through the construction of roads in the communities.

The National Project Coordinator said the government had negotiated with the African Development Bank who are the financiers, for a one year no cost extension, due to disruption caused by COVID-19 and all the projects in the 11 counties will be ready early next year.

At the end of phase two of the project, a total of 27 shallow wells, six water pans, accessible roads, livestock yard, and two market shades in the Galole catchment area, the government will have injected close to Sh500 million in Tana River.

The projects are tied to micro-irrigation systems. Samples of water from the boreholes will be taken for analysis to determine the quality of water.

Makidiuh hailed the cooperation the residents have given to the contractors and visitors terming it as the integral element in the implementation process.

The projects are worth Sh150 million in the first phase. They involved the drilling of 14 shallow wells and three water pans in Chifiri, Hakoka, and Gururi.

Aliya Bero, a resident of Hakoka, said the water pan being constructed will assuage their sufferings. They have been walking for kilometers in pursuit of water for their livestock and domestic use.

SIVAP has been funded by a loan from Africa Development Bank (AfDB), a grant from the Global Agriculture and Food Security Programme (GAFSP), and the Government of Kenya.

By Sadik Hassan

 

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