The National Agricultural and Rural Inclusive Growth Projects (NARIGP) in partnership with Migori County has launched Sh76 million water projects in Kuria East and Nyatike Sub counties.
Speaking during the ground breaking ceremony, Migori Governor Zachary Obado said the Siabai Earth Dam Catchment Landscape in Kuria East and the Not Earth dam in Nyatike would be done at a cost of close to Sh36 and Sh40 million respectively.
The Siabai Earth Dam which is at the border of Migori and Narok counties will serve residents of both Kuria East and Transmara while the Not Earth Dam which is also at the border of Migori and Homabay Counties will serve both residents of Gwasi and Kanyasi.
The National Agricultural and Rural Inclusive Growth Projects coordinator for Migori County Jared Odero stated that the dams would have a capacity of 97 cubic meters but said the run-off waters and floods would increase the capacity to serve both the locals of Migori County and the neighbouring counties of Homa Bay and Narok.
Governor Obado highlighted that NARIGP, a national project that is core funded by the World Bank in partnership with the county government, aimed at improving key sectors that included poultry, dairy farming and agriculture.
“The project will improve agriculture and dairy farming of local residents. Sweet potato farmers will be the biggest beneficiaries through the irrigation scheme that aims to add commodity value chain,” he added.
The Governor also highlighted that dairy farmers will benefit from the project through the clean water that the dam will provide for their animals. The two dams will also conserve soils that have been severely affected by runoff waters and reduce perennial flooding that caused havoc in Nyatike.
“We want to cure this flood issue that has been displacing our people, destroying their properties, livestock and plants rendering our people homeless. We want to channel this water into a dam to store it for future use both for human, livestock and agriculture consumption,” Obado stated.
Both the Siaba and the Not Earth dams once completed will ensure that the county is rich in food supply which is an important nutrition security for Kenya’s Vision 2030.
Obado stated that the county was in line with Vision 2030 to ensure that Kenya has food security through various national policy documents that the county had implemented.
Migori County has been able to implement policies like the Agricultural Sector Development Plan and the Medium Term Investment Plan of 2013.
The Governor stressed that the 2010 Constitution under the Bill of Rights provided for the right to adequate quality and quantity food at all times for all. He stated that it is from this constitutional spirit that his government in partnership with the national government and other donors has heavily invested in agriculture.
The County Secretary for Agriculture Valentine Ogongo stated that the dams would be used for irrigation of sweet potatoes, vines and tubers that will provide seedlings to farmers within the watershed.
He stated that the two projects would give priorities to the local residents in terms of employability to boost their living standard. He however, encouraged them to apply for those jobs to ensure that they were allocated those vacancies.
In June this year, the county government also launched Giribe Earth Dam in Suna West that aimed to assist the local residents with clean water both for domestic and irrigation purposes.
By Geoffrey Makokha