The US Ambassador to Kenya, Kyle McCarter has regretted that Baringo county has lost a lot during this rainy season due to lack of adequate dams which could have helped in storing runoff water as the country experiences heavy downpour.
Speaking on Monday in a meeting with Governor Stanley Kiptis while on a tour of projects funded by USAID, Amb. McCarter said if the county had enough dams it could have stored plenty of water at the moment when all parts of the county was receiving abnormal rains but regretted that the country has lost billions of money through corruption.
McCarter said that US government was against any form of graft, saying it was the biggest impediment to development of any region, adding dams are a solution to food insecurity.
The US envoy kicked off his two-day tour of development projects in the county by visiting Loboi irrigation scheme in Marigat Sub County.
He assured the project beneficiaries that the US government will continue its support and promised to walk with them down the path to self-reliance in food production.
“It important that the most vulnerable people are supported by the national and the county government and I believe that Kenya has everything it takes to show Africa that they can find their way to prosperity,” he reiterated.
Governor Kiptis in his welcoming speech thanked the US Ambassador for the visit, stating that his government has come up with a water master plan to help solve perennial water shortages in most parts of the county especially in the lower drier zones.
The governor lauded the US government for its continued financial support to the county, which he noted, had gone a long way in improving living standards of area people.
“We have come up with irrigation schemes, constructed water pans and drilled boreholes that will help mitigate water shortages in the county and I want to ask the US government for their continuous support,” Kiptis said.
Speaking at Loboi irrigation scheme, County Executive Committee (CEC) for Agriculture, Livestock and Fisheries Thomas Ole Nongonop once again thanked the US government for donating funds towards the project and called for more assistance until the farmers become food secure.
He cited poor road networks as a major challenge that frustrates efforts by the farmers to transport their farm produce to urban markets on time, a bid that the county government was unable to fix due to meagre development funds.
The Mochongoi MCA, Kipruto Kimosop who accompanied the Ambassador in the tour expressed satisfaction that so far 700 households have benefitted from sponsorship of scheme funded by the USAID in conjunction with World Food Programme (WFP).
The CEC in charge of Devolution, Scholar Kimeli said that the rehabilitated water canal in the scheme only covers 8km and there was need to construct more secondary canals to enable other farmers to access water for irrigation and domestic usage.
By Sheila Cheruiyot/Joshua Kibet