Turkana building 4 irrigation schemes


Joseph Nanok's Turkana County has been allocated the lion's share of the Equalisation Fund amounting to Sh788.7 million in the financial year starting July 1. FILE PHOTO | NMG

Turkana County government is constructing four new irrigation schemes to increase agricultural land for crop production.

County Agriculture Executive Philip Aemun said a contractor is already working on a 12.5 acre Lokirieret model drip irrigation scheme in Lokichoggio ward, Turkana West Sub County.

Mr Aemun said although the area has arable land, there is no permanent river within the vicinity.

"The scope of the work includes drilling of a borehole, and equipping it. The contractor will also install 10,000 litre storage tanks that will be providing uninterrupted supply of water to crops through pipes and drip lines," the county official said.

He added that the contractor will also clear bush on the farm that will directly benefit 600 farmers.

Mr Aemun said a surface irrigation scheme is also being constructed at Nauren Puu area of Loima Sub-County and Naakot drip irrigation scheme at Loyapat sub-location, Lobokat ward in Turkana South Sub-County.

"Twelve acres Lokwaliwa model drip irrigation in Turkana South Sub County is also being constructed with targeted beneficiaries being the youth. We want to change the notion through extension services that farming is not only meant for those illiterate but a lucrative venture for all," he said.

The devolved unit, he noted, is strengthening the existing irrigation schemes through improvement of the farm infrastructure to accommodate many households.

Citing Katilu Irrigation Scheme that has more than 2,000 acres with only 30 percent of it under crop production, Mr Aemun said limited resources and poor access to seeds for high value crops has negatively affected crop production on old and large irrigation schemes in Turkana.

“There is a challenge in terms of capital to fully invest in commercial agriculture but the county government has now rolled out plans to address the issue through Public-Private Partnership,” he said.