Contractors of the Ksh 300 million Small Irrigation and Value Addition Project (SIVAP) in Tana River County are racing against time to complete and hand over the projects to the beneficiary communities.

Last October, the government through the Ministry of Agriculture handed over 16 project sites to contractors for phase two of SIVAP.

The project is being concurrently in Tana River, Makueni, Kajiado, Machakos, Bomet, Tharaka Nithi, Meru, Nyeri, Nyandarua, and Kitui by the State Department for Crop Development and Agricultural Research.

The project funded by a loan from the Africa Development Bank (AfDB), a grant from the Global Agriculture and Food Security Programme (GAFSP), and the Government of Kenya aims at reducing poverty by enhancing agricultural productivity, income, and food security in the counties.

The project will improve irrigation infrastructures, water resource development and improve agricultural market access through the construction of roads in the communities.

The project involves the construction of three water pans in the Mkomani, Nkozi, and Mpongwe areas. Drilling and equipping of eight boreholes, fencing, and reseeding of pasture grounds in Chifiri and Hakoka.

Construction of marketing/grading shades in Makere, a livestock sale yard in Madogo, and 27 Kilometers of farm access roads.

Speaking during a monitoring tour SIVAP Project Manager Josphat Omari exuded confidence that the projects will be completed ahead of schedule as contractors are working studiously within the timelines.

“Today we are here to monitor the progress of the works which we handed over in October and so far we are very happy with the progress. We were targeting to do eight shallow wells from the reports we have gathered from the field, all eight shallow wells have been drilled awaiting the equipping which is set to start in the following week.

We were also constructing three water pans which are now at various stages. The best we have so far achieved is one of them is around 40 percent and the other two are about 20 percent to completion,’’ said Omari added that the contractors have completed 20 Kilometres of farm access roads.

The water pans are expected to benefit more than 600 households and 11,000 livestock. The beneficiaries will also increase food production through irrigation farming.

Reseeding of 200 acres of pasture grounds in Chifiri and Hakoka has started, said Omari, The contractors have done quite some work in facing the area and also planting of the seeds. “This project is meant to harvest grass to feed the livestock during drought. This is in line with the government agenda to increase production of food,’’ he added.

SIVAP is expected to improve the livelihoods of many farmers both livestock and agricultural.

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