Shs. 61 billion irrigation projects benefits Turkana and West Pokot residents

Over 100,000 families along the volatile border of Turkana and West Pokot have so far benefited from Sh.61 billion mega project being implemented by the Kerio Valley Development Authority (KVDA) in conjunction with the National Government.

The Authority has already completed the First and Second Phases of the projects at Naipul and Weiwei areas with more than 2,000 hectares of land having been made productive through irrigation.

The projects aims at achieving sustainable food security and supply of enough water for both domestic and livestock use.

While on a tour of the region on Wednesday, Devolution and Planning Principal Secretary (PS), Irungu Nyakera, said the government will be launching Phase Three of the project covering 50,000 hectares of land in Turkana County to increase land under irrigation.

Through this project, persistent conflicts caused by cattle rustling between the Pokot and Turkana communities along the border have been tackled to a greater extent. The communities that were hostile to each other before, now work together on the irrigation schemes and have adequate water for their livestock and home use, said Nyakera

The KVDA Managing Director, David Kimosop, said food security, peace and cohesion are intertwined, and the projects have been a milestone in bringing stability along the borders of Turkana and West Pokot.

The semi-arid nature of the region, observed Kimosop, has forced the communities to fight for the little resources available, especially water for their livestock.

Kimosop added that they were looking for alternative crops for Lower Turkwel area where 35,000 hectares were under irrigation using Turkwel Dam waters.

He said productivity of food crops has increased, adding the programme was in the process of diversifying into other development projects including electricity generation and conservation of water catchment areas.

Source: Kenya News Agency