The Government has handed over Small Irrigation and Value Addition Project (SIVAP) sites in Galole Constituency to contractors.
The successful bidders are expected to assemble their machinery and commence the drilling of 12 shallow wells and construction of three water pans in Chifiri, Hakoka and Gururi areas within 14 days.
“We are handing over the sites to the winning bidders. The projects are worth Sh150m in the first phase. It will involve the drilling of 12 shallow wells and three water pans,” said Engineer Omari Josphat, SIVAP Project Manager.
The project is being implemented by the State Department for Crop Development and Agricultural Research in 11 counties including Tana River, Makueni, Kajiado, Machakos, Bomet, Tharaka Nithi, Meru, Nyeri, Nyandarua and Kitui.
SIVAP aims at the reduction of poverty by enhancing agricultural productivity, income and food security in the eleven counties most of which were semi-arid and thus received low to moderate rainfall.
“At the end of the project, we are expecting to have drilled 27 shallow wells, access road, livestock yard and two market shades in Galole catchment area. The government will have injected close to Sh500m in Tana River,” said Engineer Josphat.
He added that they are expecting the beneficiaries to increase their productivity as drought continues to ravage parts of the region.
County Irrigation Engineer William Jillo, said SIVAP has come to complement their efforts to make Tana River food resilient, adding, the shallow wells will be solar-powered and will help them to irrigate farms.
Mohamed Babo from Mravani group said they have been using diesel-powered machines and thus have been incurring high cost of production.
“We have been experiencing challenges in farming. The project will improve our productivity. We will increase our acreage from 40 to 60 acres. We will use the water for domestic purposes too,” Harun Dhadho, a beneficiary from Chewani ward noted.
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