Construction works on the proposed Kachoda drip irrigation scheme in Turkana North Sub-County have resumed after a consultative meeting between community members, contractor and County Government officials led by Agriculture County Executive Philip Aemun.
Works at the 12.5 acres farm had stopped for some time due to competing needs on the usage of water from a nearby borehole that was constructed by the Catholic Diocese of Lodwar for use by residents and their livestock.
Aemun said the Duba Borehole will be upgraded to a solar pumping system by the County Government in order to support the Kachoda drip irrigation and water trough for livestock as well as community water point access outlet. This will reduce the increased demand as a result of breakdown of other boreholes.
Aemun further called for regular engagement between stakeholders to avoid future disagreement that he warned would slow down completion of the food security project in Lapur ward.
“There is a need by residents to embrace livelihoods diversification strategies that include agricultural farming as well as bee keeping and fishing value chains to provide an alternative source of livelihoods,” he added.
Citing the success of Kajukjuk flood-based farm, CEC Aemun said that the County Government was embracing modern agricultural technologies including flood-based farming and drip irrigation to cope with the changing climatic condition with an aim of putting more land under farming to increase crop production.
County Chief Officer for Agriculture and Land Reclamation Dr. Jacob Lolelea said the stalling of the farm was caused by misunderstandings of water usage from the borehole but assured that the engagement with the community and area leadership had paved the way for resumption of the work.
Dr. Lolelea assured that the Government had agreed with the contractor to collaborate with County irrigation engineers to make sure that the project is completed within the stipulated timelines and its objective of crop production is achieved. He added that the County Government was wooing more investors to support food security projects in the County.
Nominated MCA Jecinta Abenyo lauded resumption of the works at site, stating that repair of the borehole would help address conflicts within the herders and also serve farmers in Kachoda.
The team also visited Kajukjuk flood based farm in Kaaleng/Kaikor ward where they were briefed by resident engineer Charles Ekeno on progress and challenges since its inception in 2019.
By Peter Gitonga