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Experts To Exploit Saline Water for Agricultural Production

Turkana County has enlisted the help of water technology experts to pilot the exploitation of its abundant saline waters for production of human crops and animal feeds in model farms to be established across the County in an effort to combat food insecurity caused by the escalating drought condition.

The County Executive for Agriculture David Erukudi said the World Food Program (WFP) and the Food and Agricultural Organization (FAO) have also been contacted to support the program, as he divulged that potential site had already been identified for the project.

“We are aware of Sea Water Solutions Company’s expertise and accomplishments in improving agricultural fortunes in areas where water salinity was an issue as is the case with Turkana. In order for Turkana to receive the same benefits, the government is committed to working with them,” said Erukudi.

At a meeting with the tech Company officials in Lodwar, which FAO and WFP representatives also attended, CEC Erukudi said that trials at Kalobeyei had been successful and had produced useful lessons that could be replicated.

According to the CEC, a formal engagement that complies with the legal standards outlined in the Private Public partnership (PPP) framework will be drafted for the County and Sea Water Solutions Company to sign in order to formally bind them.

The move comes at a time when the county is experiencing an extreme drought, declining underground water, and a water quality analysis showing that the groundwater was highly mineralized and unsafe for human consumption.

In order to boost water sufficiency for cross-cutting interventions in agriculture, commerce, and tourism attraction, the County has also scaled up drilling of new boreholes and rehabilitation of existing ones in line with Governor Lomorukais’ nine point agenda that focused on attaining water and food sufficiency for human and animal populations.

During the meeting, CEC asked the Company to organize a symposium on the exploitation of saline water for agricultural development later in the month in Turkana West Sub County.

Janerose Tioko (Chief Officer), Victor Lochee (Deputy Director Agriculture), Ernest Anzenze (Deputy Director Livestock), FAOs’ head of Kakuma sub office Dr. Francis Anno and WFPs’ Sam Lokuno were present.

By Peter Gitonga

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