Isiolo County locals have greatly benefited from the construction of Kilimani Galana Buttress Dam in Burat Ward, Isiolo Central Sub-County.
The project is funded through a joint loan by the Kenya Government and African Development Bank (AfDB).
Speaking to KNA during a routine inspection, the project Engineer Godfery Manene said the construction of the dam with a capacity of 103,000 cubic metres of water began in August 2018 and was completed in 2020 at a total cost of Sh145 million.
The purpose of the project is to support the Kilimani irrigation scheme and thus enhance the living standards of the people of Kilimani and Burat Ward by providing supplemental water for agricultural purposes, create employment and reduce poverty within the framework of Kenya’s Poverty Reduction Strategy Paper (PRSP)
Drought Resilience and Sustainable Livelihoods in the Horn of Africa Program (DRSLP) – Kenya component is a project under the Ministry of Agriculture, Livestock, and Fisheries (MALF) has also aided in the provision of water for construction of Kilimani Game Galana Irrigation Scheme.
The main purpose is to create resilience amongst poor and vulnerable communities who have been greatly affected by occasional droughts and minimal rainfall hence greatly impacted their social and economic livelihoods.
The project within the region which is categorized as an Arid and Semi-Arid Lands (ASAL) area has enhanced access to water to most residents to be used for domestic, irrigation and pastoral use.
The irrigation scheme has a pipeline of 13Km having already directly improved the livelihoods of 461 farmers in Kilimani and Burat Ward in general living along the pipeline.
Several Water tanks have been built at strategic points in order to maximize the distribution to the farmers along the pipeline from the dam all the way to the Shambani area. Water from the dam located at the foot of the Samburu Ranges, will reach the farmers through gravity.
Mr Abdirashid Dida, the Executive Chairman of the scheme has challenged the County Government to support the project by creating more distribution pipes to reach out to the wider communities further from the main lines.
He noted that the project will help enhance food security and promote sustainable livelihoods amongst the population.
Farmers have already embraced the availability of water and cultivated various types of crops including vegetables, maize, onions, watermelons, and many more.
Mrs Faridah Abdikadir, a farmer along the pipeline and has been farming along seasonal river banks in Isiolo has commended the government on the project as she can now access water at her doorstep.
“I have employed six people in my farm and they earn money for their domestic use,” she said.
Pastoralists who mostly depend on their livestock have been challenged to reduce the numbers, take advantage of the irrigation and adopt farming.
The overall outcomes of the whole project are poverty reduction, food security, and facilitate socio-economic development in the region.
By Parklea Ivor