The Nogirwet Irrigation Scheme is set for expansion, following plans for improvement of sedimentation tank and extension of pipeline distribution network, in order to reach more farmers in the area.
This is according to Dr. Benard Tonui, the Bomet Executive Committee Member (CECM)- In-Charge of Water, Sanitation, Environment, Natural Resources and Climate Change, who toured the project, Monday, in a sensitization drive.
The project, which is a small holder irrigation project, was initiated by the local residents under the Nogirwet Water User Association in 2006 and was later funded by a joint venture between the European Union (EU), the defunct County Council of Bomet and Chepalungu Constituency Development Fund NG-CDF.
While addressing over 400 farmers in attendance, Dr Tonui said the project currently served only 80 hectares, which he said was way below the intended capacity of 450 hectares.
He said the County Government of Bomet and the Kenya Red Cross Society of Kenya were funding the expansion while assuring the farmers of marketing linkages, capacity building and provision of technical and extension agricultural services so as to ensure maximization of benefits from the project.
Dr. Tanui said the fact that the project was gravity-fed meant that there was potentially high commercial value from the project.
The Irrigation Scheme covers villages, including Kapcheogete, Tuiyobei, Kapkulumben, Kabisoge, Kosia and Kamogoi, areas experiencing high temperatures and low erratic rainfall.
The project is mainly aimed at improving the living standards and general health of the locals by moving them away from the traditional rain-fed maize and sweet potatoes into a diversity of crops such as tissue culture bananas, water melons, French beans, tomatoes and cabbages among others which agricultural experts have said grow well in the region.
Present in the meeting were Kenya Red Cross Society of Kenya, Bomet Branch, Chairperson, Cheruiyot Baliach, project Engineer, Joseph Kosgei and the scheme’s committee led by Zephaniah Ngeno.
By Kipng’eno Korir