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About Sh300 million required in rehabilitation

Kerio Valley Development Authority (K.V.D.A) will spend Sh300 million to rehabilitate three irrigation schemes destroyed by floods in Pokot Central Sub-county of West Pokot County.

Speaking yesterday, when he visited the area to ascertain the extend of destruction caused by floods, the Acting Managing Director (MD), KVDA, Sammy Naporos, said the money is required to repair water canals and water intake system.

Naporos   said irrigation schemes to be rehabilitated are; Weiwei, Tukou  Sangat and   Marich Pass, saying the floods mainly caused havoc to the schemes which need urgent intervention to save farmers from further loss of their crops.

“The floods caused havoc damaging   Weiwei Irrigation Scheme water intake, furrows, cutting of road networks, bridges and sweeping-off footbridges. The Authority with other government agencies are pooling resources to see to it that the schemes return back to normal operations,” said the MD.

He pointed out that more than 20,000 households, who used to depend on the irrigation schemes for their livelihoods were totally affected by the calamity.

“Wei Wei Irrigation Scheme covers 1,000 hectares of land and supports 200 farmers and supplies the area with enough food.

It is under the ‘Big Four’ agenda on food security. The schemes help residents of West Pokot, East Pokot, Baringo and Turkana Counties,” said Naporos.

The farmers in the Scheme mainly plant maize seed for Kenya Seed Company, beans and fruits that were destroyed, during the floods.

Weiwei Irrigation Scheme Chairperson, Mark Meut, said farmers mainly encountered huge losses after the destruction, adding that it will be hard for farmers to start the year 2020 farming season.

“It has been hard for farmers to engage in farming .Weiwei River is everything that residents depend on and the intake and the scheme was totally destroyed. We are about to start planting but it has become hard for farmers to engage in farming,” he said.

He called on area leaders to come together and address the problem as a matter of urgency.

Meut called on the County and National Governments to utilize part of disaster funds   to rehabilitate and safeguard the damaged Scheme hence prioritize issues of the scheme which is the food basket of the region.

“The project offers economic empowerment to residents at household level .We want farmers to continue with the day-to-day activities, bearing in mind that at the moment water is a problem in the entire region, including institutions such as schools and hospitals,” he said.

He said that they are worried because the Weiwei Irrigation Scheme water intake requires a huge amount of money to repair.

“We don’t want to rely on relief food .Katuw -Ptokou, Korelach Sangat irrigation furrows need urgent rehabilitation. Some pipes were swept and the project initially cost the government about Sh.150 million,” he said.

Devolution Principal Secretary (PS), Micah  Powon, who  accompanied  the MD said that the government  has started assessing  the value of the  damage at the schemes .

“We shall soon send our officers on the ground to determine the cost required for rehabilitation .We want to put in place long and short term measures,” he said.

He said farmers incurred losses of more than 100 million shillings   after water pipes supplying water were destroyed in the floods.

“We shall do recoveries of furrows and pipes affected by floods,” he said.

Sigor Member of Parliament, Peter Lochakapong, called for quick intervention to avert hunger in the region.

A farmer, Lucy Chepkipa, said floods cut-off water supply and that the area currently lacks even water for drinking

“We are getting losses because we depend on the water for both farming and domestic use,” she said.

By John Saina

 

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