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Farming on river banks halted due to water scarcity

Residents of the Rongai constituency in Nakuru County have commended their MP for stopping the cultivation of vegetables and tomatoes along the Molo and Rongai rivers, which denied them water from the two sources.

Led by Gilbert Kaplich, the community elder during a meeting at the Kampi Ya Moto today, they said this is the only year that the residents have continued to draw water from the two rivers despite the ongoing drought.

He said: “In the past, vegetable and tomato farmers took advantage of the soft rules of cultivating and irrigating farms along the banks, which led to many residents missing water.”

He added that some of the farmers had gone to the extent of diverting the water to their farms, using huge water pumps denying the downstream people water.

However, he said, since their new MP partnered with chiefs and Wazee wa Nyumba Kumi the unfairness of water usage has been stopped, and they are extremely grateful.

Kaplich said they are hopeful that the promises to the residents including the Kiamunyi area will soon get piped water at their homes from the Chemusus dam in Eldama Ravine.

Apart from that, he said the dam which was constructed ten years ago has sufficient water for the Baringo and Nakuru counties, and all that was required was a consensual agreement between them.

At the same time, the Nakuru Water Services (NARUWASCO) has been sending short messages to the city residents to use the water responsibly because the wells are drying up due to the current drought.

The messages read: “Dear client due to the current drought; water has reduced. We urge you to use available water responsibly and pay your bills for better service.”

The county has a perennial water shortage that has been made worse by the ever-increasing population and increased irrigation by the farmers since they can’t utilise the salty underground water.

River Ndarugu and Njoro which are the major rivers in the county have over the years due to climate change dwindled in their water volumes, to maintain a sufficient supply for the city over 21 wells have been dug. But during droughts, they also tend to reduce capacity.

By Veronica Bosibori

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