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PS Urges the Northern Region to Embrace Irrigation Farming

Livestock farmers in North Eastern region have been urged to embrace farming as an alternative source of livelihood as the region continues to grapple with prolonged drought which continues to ravage the livelihoods of the people.

Over the past few years, the drought situation in the region has continued to worsen leaving millions of livestock dead and the people facing hunger and no source of income.

Speaking after visiting several irrigation farms and commissioning boreholes in Habaswein, Wajir County, Water and Irrigation Principal Secretary Kiprono Rono said that the region is well placed to produce large quantities of organic foods since the land is fertile, having not been farmed before.

Rono said that the government is working around the clock to find a permanent source of water in the region through construction of mega dams and drilling of high yielding boreholes to facilitate irrigation farming.

“This is a place where we just need water because the soil is fertile and the farmers do not even need fertilizers. With assistance, the farmers can get enough food for consumption and export,” Rono said.

“As a national government through the ministry of water and irrigation, we will do everything to support this region and other regions in the country which have enough land and only need water to be able to produce food crops,” he added.

The PS further noted that with the current change of climate leading to low and unpredictable rain patterns, it was time to shift from rain fed agriculture to irrigation farming.

“The government’s plan to introduce irrigation and build more dams is in the right direction. If we can make sure that the mega dams are constructed and we also drill more boreholes in high yield places, we will be able to support communities to grow their crops and tackle food insecurity in the country,” he said.

Wajir West constituency MP Yusuf Farah said that it was impressive for farmers to have come up with the little resources they had, and start irrigation farming in the area.

“Agriculture is the way to go here. We have a fertile land, and we will have water so we need to start changing our mentality and work together for a food secure future,” Farah said.

“I want to ask everyone in Wajir County and the ASAL regions to change our perceptions and embrace agriculture so that we can feed ourselves,” he added.

The PS was also joined by the chairperson of the Northern Water Works Development Agency (NWWDA) Nasri Ibrahim, NWWDA CEO Andrew Rage, Water Resources Authority chairperson Mohamed Shuriye and officials from the World Bank.

By Erick Kyalo

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