Residents of Kitui West Constituency could finally breathe a sigh of relief after Governor Charity Ngilu handed over sites for the construction three mega earth dams at a cost of Sh39.6 million.
Kitui West constituency has constantly been in the headlines as residents struggle for the precious commodity, with some residents forced to walk for long distances looking for water.
The three dams with a total capacity of 99,000 metric cubic will address the problem of water shortage which has constantly pulled down the rural economy of the county.
The three water barriers are some of the key strategies initiated by the County government of Kitui and the national government to improve food security in the semi-arid county.
Addressing the press during the handing over of the construction sites at Kitui West Constituency, Ngilu said the dams will not only solve the problem of water shortage, but will also lift the agricultural sector in the county through irrigation.
“This is a major development initiative in addressing the problems faced by the people of Kitui West Constituency and the entire county. We are very happy that the problem of water shortage will now be a thing of the past,” she said.
For several seasons, Kitui County has been hit by drought causing serious food shortages. The dams, once completed will help in the growing of drought resistant crops through irrigation.
In addition, the earth dams will be expected to improve livestock farming, since locals have been incurring losses as their animals are famished by the drought.
Furthermore, the livestock farmers have been fetching little cash as the drought forces them to sell their animals at a throw away prices.
Masilingini Dam which has a capacity of 35,949 metric cubic will cost Sh 2.7milion, Malondo Dam with a capacity of 30874 metric cubic will cost Sh12.7million while the Masia Dam with a capacity of 32,000 metric cubic will eventually cost Sh14.2milion.
Currently, the county government is using water bowsers to supply clean water to residents across the county.
The governor said that her administration is working closely with other partners to ensure the problem of water shortage in the county is completely addressed.
She noted that the project will also offer many employment opportunities to the local people and help them to better their livelihoods.
Ngilu asked the residents to offer support to the contractors and accord them a conducive environment so that they could complete the projects on time.
“I appeal to the contractors to give jobs to the local people, especially the youth who are struggling to put food on the table. We want to empower our young generation,” Ngilu said.
By Yobesh Onwong’a and Diana Syong’ombe