The long-distance treks in search for water by the Holo Orucho community has today come to an end after the CECM Finance and Economic Planning, Mr. George Okong’o flunked by the CECM Agriculture, Mr. Gilchrist Okuom commissioned a 7 million water pan project in East Kano Wawidhi Ward, Nyando Sub County.
Previously, the community’s only source of water was a seasonal river which runs dry during dry spell and resurfaces during the rainy season.
The water pan is an investment under the Climate Smart Agriculture project (KCSAP) that harvests rain water to improve the lives and livelihoods of small holder farmers.
It is funded by the World Bank and the County Government of Kisumu whose contribution was 30% of the donor’s fund.
The water pan that holds up to 15,000m3 of water is expected to serve 600 farmers, Holo orucho Primary School and the Catholic Church in the area. It is a reprieve to the community as it ensures water availability throughout the seasons.
The project is equipped with a portable solar powered pump, two taps, two storage tanks each holding 10,000litters, two cattle troughs, intake draw off point in case the pump breaks down, ablution block and a store.
While commissioning the project, the County Executive Member for Finance and Economic Planning, Mr. George Okong’o, noted that the water pan is part of the Governor’s ten-point agenda in ensuring increased access to water by every household.
He urged the community to use the water pan not only for domestic chores and livestock but also for irrigation of horticultural crops that would be a source of income to them. He pledged support on matters development at the grass roots.
According to the County Executive Member for Agriculture, Irrigation, Livestock and Fisheries, Mr. Gilchrist Okuom, the project was initiated to boost agricultural production among the farmers. He challenged them to make good use of the water pan by doing agribusiness; planting local vegetables and keeping livestock.
He reiterated that the people have not only benefited from the water project but the KCSAP project has also supported farmers with machinery, farm inputs such as cassava and millet seeds and poultry.
On his part the Chief Officer for Agriculture and Irrigation’ Dr. Paul Omanga said Climate Change issues has necessitated the construction of water pans to improve irrigation efficiency in the County.
Dr. Omanga further outlined some of the key ongoing projects in Nyando Sub County which include: 56million to revive the stalled rice irrigation scheme that is to be completed by September this year. Already 3.6 kilometers of lined canals has been done, 11million has been allocated for Kagari water pan with the contractor already on site and 27million allocated to the local groups to plant cassava, millet, vegetable, bee keeping and poultry keeping.
Engineer Billiard Obingo, said they were able to achieve the expected capacity of water within the stipulated project period. He added that with the rainfall patterns in the area, the water is able to serve the people from season to season without being depleted.
He however challenged the committee members to consider connecting the people at a fee that will go into sustainability of the project especially on desilting, maintaining the pipes and the pumps.
The event was graced by the area MCA Hon. John Kennedy Ageng’o, the Sub County Admin Mr. Peter Abiero, Director Governance and Administration, Mr. Leonard Kwama, Assistant Chief from Katolo Sub Location Mr. John Otieno, The area Chief, Ward Administrator, Village Administrator, County Officials and the community members.
By: Emily Mikwa