Farmers in Isiolo County are set to increase production with the completion of Kilimani Dam along Lewa River.
The dam which is a national government project is expected to provide water to Kilimani Galana Irrigation Scheme in Burat Ward of Isiolo County.
According to Government Spokesman Cyrus Oguna, Kilimani Dam will provide clean drinking water to at least 2000 households in Isiolo County as well as neighboring counties such as Meru, Laikipia, Samburu and Marsabit.
“This is part of the government Big 4 projects which will enhance food security in this county. There are many dams currently being implemented to provide water to farmers in order to increase production and provide water for the animals,” said Oguna.
Oguna expressed the Government of Kenya’s commitment to improve the livelihood of Kenyans, through such mega projects like dams and roads, whose impact will be felt for many years to come.
Project manager Geofrey Manene noted that the dam has the capacity to hold at least 103,000 cubic metres, enough to ensure adequate supply of water to farmers throughout the year.
Manene however noted that the dam will only abstract storm water during rainy seasons, in order to avoid inconveniencing the people who depend on Lewa River downstream, for both wildlife, livestock and domestic use.
Farmers in the area have already embarked on horticultural farming, buoyed by the steady supply of water to their farms.
Rosemary Epurkel, a farmer in Kakili village of Burat ward is one happy person, as she now produces vegetables for sale in Isiolo town, with the surplus being ferried to Laisamis, Merille and Marsabit, fetching enough funds to pay four workers in her farm and cater for school fees to educate her children.
Similarly, Abdulkadir Birru, a retired civil Servant has also ventured in horticultural farming in his farm in Kilimani area, mainly dealing with tomatoes.
Birru called upon the government to help farmers with a more reliable market, as more people show interest in farming which will ensure increased supply.
Kilimani Dam is also expected to reduce inter-communal conflicts often triggered by water scarcity in the county.