Kajiado Assembly has adopted a report detailing how an African Development Bank’s Sh360 million water irrigation project in Nguruman has haunted farmers.
The report says 60 per cent of the project’s piping system collapsed one year ago and two water off-take points for two rivers were badly damaged by flood water late last year, and threatening livelihoods for agricultural and livestock farmers downstream.
The assembly adopted the report during the Bunge Mashinani sitting in Magadi on Wednesday night after it was tabled by the area MCA, Joseph Masiaya.
It heard that the irrigation water users association in partnership with ADB designed an irrigation system that used piped channels to create efficient water supply network to all farms in 2008 but it broke down one year ago leaving hundreds of farmers without water.
Masiaya told the assembly, the project which was launched by the then Minister for Agriculture, William Ruto, had changed the irrigation outlook at Nguruman, but the piping systems were swept away by floods one year ago leaving 60 per cent of farmers hopeless.
Masiaya said; “Considering the topography of Nguruman escarpment and pronounced gorges that source tributaries to Ewuaso-Ng’iro River, flash rains water became uncontrollable to high velocity from the slope.”
More than two 1500 large and small scale irrigation farmers that contributed to food supplies in the county and parts of Narok are said to be lavishing in poverty and unable to fend for themselves and families.
The open-air county assembly proceeding was attended by hundreds of members of the public from the affected areas and was accorded chances to also make their contributions on the same.
Mzee Michael Kasyoki, a local elder in Nguruman, claimed the floods had completely damaged two water off-take points at the tributary of Oloibortoto and Entasopia rivers.
“When ADB and the government brought this project of piped irrigation water, we were not consulted. They can, did their thing and told us they spent Sh360 million on it and left. We do not have the project now, and yet before, we have been doing irrigation on the same water for the last more than 60 years,” wondered Kisyoki.
He claimed that farmer, before the ADB, project irrigated their farms by flooding them and all the forests and wild fruits did well until they brought the new system that directed little water, which was not even enough, to the farms.
Speaker Johnson Osoi directed the county executive member for water, irrigation and natural resources to immediately assess the impact of the flood destruction on piped channels at Nguruman and come up with strategies to assist farmers.
Osoi, at the same time during the same sitting, also directed the executive member for agriculture, livestock, fisheries, and cooperatives development to ensure there is frequent vaccination of livestock in the county where there reported cases of diseases.
This was after members raised concerns in the Bunge Mashinani that areas such as Olkiramatian and Oltaraja have reported cases of tsetse fly outbreak.