The Kerio Valley Development Authority (KVDA) will sink six boreholes and construct two water pans at a cost of Sh100 million along the Kerio Valley belt under the drought mitigation programme.
The KVDA chairman Mark Chesergon said the organisation had realised that scarcity of water was one of the major causes of conflicts in the area as herders move from one place to another in search of water for their animals.
“If residents have water within their localities, then they will not be forced to travel to other areas in such of the same thus reducing conflicts,” he said.
Speaking at Kolowa in Tiaty constituency during the launch of the programme, the chairman said the authority will drill one borehole each in Tiaty (Baringo), Turkana and West Pokot counties, Samburu will get a borehole and two water pans while Elgeyo Marakwet will get two boreholes.
“We will install a solar pump for the boreholes and also construct a trough where animals can quench their thirst,” he said.
Chesergon said the boreholes will be located in schools where they will not only be protected but will also provide water for domestic use to homes around in addition to ensuring that pupils get water and save them time spent looking for the commodity.
He said their engineers had already undertaken hydrogeological surveys and will therefore go ahead to sink more boreholes immediately they get more resources from the national government.
The chairman said the area has been experiencing scarcity of water saying they have been depending on only one source which is river Kerio which has constantly become a source of conflict especially during drought.
Chesergon regretted that most of the projects the Authority was undertaking in the area had stalled due to insecurity citing an animal breeding development programme for dairy goats which had to be moved to a safer place.
“We also have land lying idle where we had planned to train locals on improved agriculture but we were forced to abandon the plan due to insecurity,” he said.
He added that the Tot Mango factory, which is supposed to develop the area through creation of employment and provision of market for mangoes cannot sustain its activities due to shortage of raw materials as farmers are unable to increase their mango trees due to insecurity despite the Authority providing seedlings to them.
Lydiah Kisang a widow from Tot said residents will experience hunger this season as they were unable to plant due to insecurity saying most of the women have been widowed while some men who have survived the conflicts have been maimed for life.
Denson Kiptoo said insecurity had robbed the communities of young professionals who would have greatly contributed to its development citing civil servants including teachers and health personnel who have lost their lives at the hands of criminals.
By Alice Wanjiru