The National government is establishing model irrigation projects in 49 schools countrywide to be used in disseminating knowledge of irrigation to community members.
The Principal Secretary (PS) State department of Irrigation, Prof. Fred Segor said the government has set aside Sh.400million that will be used in establishing the projects.
He was speaking at Mutambo primary school in Kiminini Sub County of Trans Nzoia County on Saturday where he commissioned the first completed project that is powered by solar pumps.
The PS said the project is targeting schools and community members to get clean water for household use while at the same time using the same for irrigating their farms.
He said a demonstration plot will be established where the government will establish a greenhouse in the area for educating the community to use water in planting short season high-value crops like vegetables.
The PS also said the purpose of establishing the project in school linking it to the community is to minimize water-borne diseases and enhance the government’s Big 4 Agenda of food security and better health.
According to Segor, maintenance of the projects will be tasked to the county governments to ensure they are sustained.
He noted that the Irrigation Water Users Associations (IWRUA) and Water Users Association (WRUAs) committees will partner with the counties to maintain water projects.
Segor explained that the government is starting up the projects in selected schools asking other partners to join in and replicate in more schools, particularly challenging the county government to take on the initiative.
The PS later visited Ng’eng’e dam in Kwanza Sub County to inspect the progress made in establishing the dam.
The Chief Officer of Water at the County government of Trans Nzoia, John Meng’wa said their administration will form a committee that will be charging a small fee for maintenance of the project.
He further said that water engineers will be on standby to ensure the project is maintained and repaired where necessary, adding that the county government has set aside Sh. 10 million this financial year to de-silt dams in the county to boost irrigation.
According to the CEC water, most of the dams were established during the pre-colonial period and have never been maintained and therefore need rehabilitation.
He informed that they will carry a survey in all the 65 dams in the county to establish their boundaries and erect beacons to protect them from being encroached by residents.
Meng’wa said that his department in conjunction with lands commission is in the process of repossessing land that belongs to the government but has been encroached on.
He said that the partnership between the devolved unit and the national government will see five dams di-tiled in the region.
By Pauline Ikanda