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Leaders want ‘stopgap’ dams in Tana

Galole MP Said Hiribae has called for the construction of a mega dam in Tana River County to contain perennial flash floods witnessed along the banks of river Tana.

He said there was a need to harness the river both for irrigation and domestic consumption before it was released into the ocean as a stop gap to control the fast flow water from upstream that causes floods downstream.

Speaking during the launch of relief food distribution in Hola also presided over by ASALs and Regional Development PS Idris Dokota, the legislator said the county was faced with a cycle of disasters that could be averted by the construction of the dam.

“Pastoralists have lost their livestock due to lack of pasture while farmers cannot cultivate due to floods subjecting the communities in Tana River to beggars while rely on food handouts,’’ said the legislator.

He said the dams should be constructed in all three constituencies to harvest water that could be channeled into the dry hinterland for irrigation for production of food and related animal feeds for livestock.

The MP also urged the government to increase the capacity of the Coast Development Authority (CDA) run integrated Fruit-Processing Plant (IFPP) in Boji, Galole Constituency.

He said, “On average we can produce more than 100 lorries of 20 tonnes every day. The mango processing plant needs to be expanded. We will have to invest money to build storage facilities and machines that are able to process huge tonnes per day.”

On his part, PS Idriss Dokota assured the MP that they will engage mango farmers not to accept contract farming from unscrupulous business people who buy the mangoes at low prices; they should make maximum use of the Integrated Fruit-Processing plant.

By Sadik Hassan

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