The government will only control flooding in parts of Nyatike constituency, Migori County by constructing dams on Kuja and Migori rivers, according to the inhabitants of the region.
The local people also want the state to lay proper dykes along the two rivers that spills their excess waters into their farms during heavy rains to contain all the waters into their courses.
At the same time, the residents led by Joseph Owiti called on the National Irrigation Board (NIB) to move fast and construct proper canals at the Lower Kuja Irrigation Scheme in order to hold all its waters in the existing water charnels.
The laid down web of irrigation canal recently spilled out their waters into people’s homes and farms, displacing several households and causing damages worth millions of shillings to property following the current heavy rains pounding the region
Hundreds of other residents were also displaced after the two major rivers in the county burst their banks as a result of the torrential rains.
Speaking to KNA in Macalder town on Sunday, Owiti who is an expert in matters of geology said the beds and banks of Migori and Kuja rivers provides a firm rock-base that is capable to hold huge dams at various points along their courses.
“It is worth noting that the waters of the two rivers have not been tapped well to assist in irrigating the lower lands in the region. Likewise, the rivers have not been harnessed to regulate their flows down streams by erecting huge dams on their upper sections,” said Mr. Owiti.
Flanked by a group of perennial victims of floods in the region, Owiti regretted that while the area has always remained a clean water deficit region, it was a shame that volumes of waters have always been left to waste during rainy seasons.
“The government must now think of harvesting the millions of cubic litres of water that flows to waste into Lake Victoria every rainy season by building huge dams up-streams of the two rivers in order to provide constant clean water to the local people and their livestock,” he stressed.
He said Migori and Kuja rivers that are fed by several unseasonal small-river inlets and streams are able to fill the dams throughout the year, water that can be stored for use by the local residents during the dry spells.
“It is unfortunate that we keep on crying for domestic water during dry seasons and lose a number of our livestock as well as post poor or nil food harvests every year yet we let go to waste volumes of water during heavy rains,” rued Owiti.
In 2011, the over Sh.5 billion lower Kuja irrigation scheme was launched in the area by the national government with a view to make the region a food basket hub.
The project was also to tap the huge volume of water in rivers Migori and Kuja to provide constant clean water for both domestic and livestock use.
However, eight years down the line, the local people still lack enough clean water and food, as well as being hit by floods every rainy season.
By George Agimba