The County Government of Uasin Gishu will desilt 330 water dams that were constructed more than 90 years during the colonial period as one way of mitigating effects of climate change.
Uasin Gishu Governor, Daniel Chemno, said many parts of the country have continued to experience harsh climatic conditions due to climate change that has led to unpredictable weather conditions and prolonged droughts.
To mitigate these effects, the DG said, the County Government is desilting the dams in phases to ensure there is enough water for residents throughout the year.
According to Chemno who spoke during an inspection tour of Chelabal Dam that occupies 11-acre piece of land in Soy Sub County, most of the dams are located in agriculturally rich areas where farming can be done continuously with availability of water.
“But since our farmers have for a long time depended on rainfed agriculture, the land remains unutilized once farmers harvest their maize, but with the rehabilitation of dams, farmers will get a reserve of harvested water that can be utilized during the dry season that will allow them engage in small scale irrigation,” said Chemno.
“The farming community will have new sources of reliable water supply that will enable them to engage in income generating ventures through small scale irrigation such as vegetables growing, passion fruits and irish potatoes farming, as well as fish farming, since the dams will be stocked with fish fingers,” the DG added.
He noted that the residents neighbouring the dams can engage in fish gauge farming that was more manageable adding that youths can also use the dams to initiate income generating projects such as small-scale horticultural farming, fish farming to earn some income and uplift their standards of living.
County Executive Committee Member for Water and Environment, Mary Njogu, said that her department is sensitizing residents to plant short term crops like tomatoes, cabbages, sukumawiki to empower themselves economically in the program that is also targeting the youth to make use of the dams.
A village elder from Chelabal Simon Tarus, lauded the County Government for desilting the dams saying the dam in their area will help them get enough water for domestic and agricultural use, public schools within the locality will also benefit from the water, he added.
By Kiptanui Cherono