The government, through the Ministry of Regional Development, will spend Sh450 million to establish 30 water projects in counties under the Kerio Valley Development Authority (KVDA).
Noting that water was one of the causes of conflicts among the pastoralist communities, Principal Secretary Salim Dakota said the projects, which would include the sinking of boreholes and the construction of water pans, would go a long way in solving conflicts that have affected the area for decades.
Speaking at Rokocho in Keiyo South Sub County when he commissioned the Rokocho honey processing factory and a borehole, the PS said once the projects are complete, his ministry will partner with the Ministry of Water to supply the water to the community.
He noted that with adequate water, communities could start projects that would provide a sustainable livelihood, which would in turn transform their lives as the water would not only be for domestic use but also for irrigation and livestock.
“We want to move away from rain-fed agriculture to irrigation, and we are sure that with water, this area will be transformed economically,” he said.
The PS added that plans were underway to expand the honey processing factory to enable it to serve more farmers by expanding the capacity to process 350 tons per year from the current 120 tons per year.
“Once expanded, we are hoping that more people from neighbouring counties will deliver their honey to the factory for processing,” he said.
The KVDA MD, Sammy Naporos, said the organization bought honey worth Sh. 60 million and mangoes worth Sh. 30 million from the locals in the last one year.
The PS added that KVDA had procured 2 million tree seedlings to be distributed to farmers for planting, which would contribute to the national agenda of planting 15 billion trees.
Saying that Elgeyo Marakwet had all the indicators to be included under the arid and semi-arid areas, the PS wondered why it was left out, saying he would review and see that it was included.
KVDA operates in Elgeyo Marakwet, West Pokot, Baringo, Turkana, parts of Samburu, and Nakuru counties.
By Alice Wanjiru and Valentine Jeptum