Water pan construction commences at Lopeipuke in Turkana
Some 57,000 people in Katilu and Kaptir wards are set to benefit from the construction of a water pan by the National Agricultural and Rural Inclusive Growth Project (NARIGP).
The site was handed over to the contractor on Saturday and is expected to be completed within four months.
County executive for Agriculture, Pastoral Economy and Fisheries Philip Aemun said the water pan is part of the integrated landscape management, water harvesting and spate irrigation project being funded by the World Bank and implemented by the County Government to support more than 57,000 people.
It is divided into water and soil conservation through sustainable land management as well as construction of a water pan.
“Implementation of the water pan project will enable nearby pastoralist community to get access to water for their livestock and domestic water by reducing the trekking distance,” said Aemun.
He added that the completion of the pan will supplement water deficiency in the area by constructing a pan with a volume of 117,360 cubic meters.
The World Bank-funded project would enhance effective livelihoods diversification as it would support food production as well as pasture for livestock.
He lauded residents of Kalemngorok and Kaputir for embracing the project that he said was a move in the right direction considering that the site was once a battlefield for cattle rustlers.
CEC Aemun thanked the National Government for restoring peace and stability in the region and urged residents to support implementation of Government project
The County executive further noted that the 80 Hectare farm which is part of the Multi-Community Investment Project has created employment opportunies for 800 youths and enabled 100 households to plant and harvest sorghum from the farms established with soil and conservation structure.
CEC Aemun said that the project would put value addition to livestock chains product by increasing goat/sheep productivity and profitability through integrated landscape management, water harvesting and spate irrigation.
He expressed optimism that proper implementation of the 97 million project was selected by the County Government as part of its food security agenda through an inclusive approach that caters for farming and at the same time bolstering livestock production.
County Chief Officer for Agriculture and land Reclamation Jacob Lolelea said that successful implementation of the project would help in surplus food production because of the peace being enjoyed in the region. He warned the contractor against shoddy works noting that members of the public must get value for the money invested in the project
The land scape management system is geared towards increasing land productivity and improve livelihoods by ensuring appropriate practices that enables land users to maximize the economic and social benefits from the land while maintaining the ecological support functions of the land resources.
Katilu ward MCA James Abei said that establishment of farms that has arable agricultural soil had created job opportunities for hundreds of youths in the area that had been abandoned initially because of insecurity.
NARIGP County coordinator Joseph Ekalale said that the project will enhance Sorghum and livestock value chains.
Others officials present included County Agriculture Director Paul Lokone and Turkana South Sub-County administrator Alexander Losikiria, among others.