Chala water project gives life to Taveta Sub-county farmers

    [Nakruto Primamry pupils enjoying fresh water supply in their school Courtesy of CDA. Photo/Ahmed Omar].

    Before the Coast Development Authority (CDA) completed the construction of Phase 1 of the 3.289 billion shillings Chala Smallholder Irrigation Project in Taveta Sub- County, pupils at Nakruto Primary school used to carry five litre jerry cans of water each to school every day for cooking, drinking and washing toilets in the institution.

    Apart from the learners, over 15,000 residents of the area used to trek four kilometres to fetch untreated water from the Njoro Springs and those who couldn’t hire donkeys to ferry water from the springs used to pay five shillings for a 20 litre jerrycan.

    However, for Mr Peter Kabuki, the head teacher of Nakruto Primary school which has a population of over 200 pupils, the CDA- funded water project is God-sent and a game changer for his learners and the local community.

    ‘’Before this project became operational, my pupils used to carry 5 litres of water each for cooking their lunch, drinking and washing their toilets but nowadays, they just walk five metres from their classrooms to the 10,000 litre water tank to fetch the commodity which has really revolutionized the standards of hygiene in our school”, Mr Kabuki said.

    The head teacher further said that, after the project became operational, the school has fully mitigated against the outbreak of waterborne diseases since children drink treated water, enhanced hygiene among the learners, enabled the school to start kitchen gardening and tree planting besides exposing the children to hand washing which has helped the school keep Covid-19 at bay.

    For Mr Joseph Mutungi Nzioka , a local quarry worker, water sold to them by donkey cart owners was very expensive but “We now fetch the commodity from the various water kiosks near our homes for two shillings and fifty cents only for a 20 litre Jerican”.

    [The water project. Photo/Ahmed Omar].

    “This project has made life very easy for us because we have water kiosks everywhere from where we fetch the commodity very cheaply for domestic use and watering our livestock”. said the quarry worker.

    According to the Coast Development Authority Managing Director Dr. Mohamed Keinan, besides supplying water to the local people, the project is also supplying water to the 190-acre Kasokoni Irrigation Scheme which has up-scaled horticultural farming in the area three fold.

    Modern farming

    Dr Keinan said that courtesy of the project, thousands of tonnes of bananas, onions, chilli, tomatoes, cassava , maize, beans, pawpaws, mangoes, cabbages, lemons and oranges are being produced by farmers doing irrigation at the Kasokoni irrigation scheme.

    The MD further said that CDA spent 45 million shillings on the first phase of the project which was secured from the National Treasury during the 2018/2019 Financial Year.

    “Besides supplying water to smallholder farmers, the project is also undertaking domestic water supply to 7000 people and 15000 livestock”, said the MD.

    The MD said water for the project is drawn from a 100 metre deep, 250 millimetre diameter production borehole drilled near the hilltop Lake Chala which straddles the Kenya-Tanzania border.

    The borehole, Keinan added, is equipped with a solarized pump with a discharge capacity of 35,000 litres of water per hour.

    The MD added that the water from the project is supplied to users at Kasokoni, Malukiloriti and Kitondoni where CDA has built four water kiosks and made provisions for those who can afford pumping water to their homesteads.

    Adequate supply

    “We have installed a 10,000 Litre water tank at Kirimeri ECD centre,another 10,000 Litre tank at Nakruto Primary school, another 10,000 litre tank at Malukiloriti Secondary school and another 10,000 litre tank at Malukiloriti Primary School besides fitting each water kiosk with a 10,000 litre tank”, said the MD.

    Dr Keinan said, CDA has also constructed 6 cattle troughs to watering livestock, three others for sheep and goats and rehabilitated another cattle trough which had been neglected for some time at Kirimeri, Kasokoni and Malukiloriti villages.

    [The Coast Development Authority (CDA) Managing Director Dr Mohamed Keinan. Photo/Ahmed Omar].

    “Our goal as CDA when we mooted this project was to increase food security through supplying water for irrigation farming, livestock production and domestic use in order to build the community’s resilience to climate change and improve living standards of people of Chala location and Nakruto besides going out of our way to capacity build farmers through input support and training on good agricultural practices and marketing”, said Dr Keinan.

    The Authority, the MD said, will also enhance catchment protection and management activities in Nakruto.

    To achieve these objectives, CDA has given 51 farmers farm inputs including seeds, fertilizers and pesticides, trained 50 farmers on good agricultural practices, marketing and cooperative society’s formation and trained 50 Water User Association members on operationalization and maintenance of the Nakruto Water Resource.