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Laikipia residents benefit from Sh16million Ndathimi water project

Over 200 households in Karaba ward in Laikipia West Sub County have benefited from the Sh16 million Ndathimi Dam water project.

The project is sponsored by the World Bank and is implemented through the Kenya Climate-Smart Agriculture Project (KCSAP).

Laikipia Governor Ndiritu Muriithi, while commissioning the dam, said that the idea of rehabilitating the dam was to ensure farmers in the region use the drip irrigation technology to ensure they produce sufficient food for consumption and sell the surplus.

Residents were also sensitised on how to use the water project effectively for their benefit.

“The money we are using through KCSAP is concessional money from the World Bank so that we can use it here to be able to boost farming by our people.

Our aim through this project is to ensure that Laikipia is food secure and at the same time our people are eating a balanced diet,” said Muriithi.

The Governor insisted that the project was now wholly transferred to the community and added that they should take care of the project to ensure it benefits them fully.

He added that in the Laikipia county water master plan there are plans to rehabilitate 231 dams and water pans in the next five years.

Governor Muriithi said they were looking for creative financing solutions as an alternative to relying on donor funding.

County Climate Smart Agriculture Project Coordinator Muriuki Kiboi speaking to KNA during the commissioning of the Ndathimi dam said their focus is to increase productivity by use of smart agriculture technologies.

“Our main objective is to ensure farmers in this region get maximum productivity results from the dam, build resilience to small scale farmers and at the same time reduce greenhouse gases.

“We have seven dam projects and Ndathimi in Karaba area we aim at improving the farming projects that farmers undertake to help in food production and empower the farmers,” said Kiboi.

Kiboi said that when they started the Ndathimi dam project in 2019, the dam was silted and the main project then was to desilt, and make the walls and spillways for water when the dam is full.

He added that they are using solar energy hence there is no harm to the climate since solar energy is climate-smart.

The Ndathimi water project through KCSAP has already put 30 acres of horticultural crops under irrigation through the initial phase of irrigation.

According to the KCSAP coordinator, the desilting and irrigation system has so far cost Sh16 million.

Other value chains of these projects include; 4000 avocado seedlings, 2000 mango seedlings, 3.8 tonnes of beans and beekeeping which had all been given to the farmers before the commissioning.

Kiboi said that they had early this year put one hundred thousand tilapia fingerlings in Ndathimi dam and added there is a group managing the fish.

Njeru wa Karitu the Ndathimi dam Chairperson said that the dam will be beneficial to the residents now that they do not need to wait on rainfall to practice farming.

“It will also be of help to our livestock and Karaba people are grateful.

“We started in November 2019 from desilting and it has taken two and half years. We have actually eaten Tilapia fish today from this dam,” said Karitu.

The dam water project will serve 212 households and their livestock.

Residents asked the county government to expand the dam and install security lights to avert the theft of fish.

The dam is one among the seven dam projects being rehabilitated by the County Government in Laikipia West Sub County.

Farmers also benefitted from fish farming training and beekeeping.

Kenya Climate-Smart Agriculture Project is a government project jointly supported by the World Bank aiming to enhance climate-smart agriculture practices among small-scale farmers, agro-pastoralists and pastoralists communities in arid and semi-arid areas.

By Antony Mwangi and Muturi Mwangi

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