The government through the Coast Development Authority (CDA) has embarked on the construction of a 142 Million shillings, Earth Fill Dam water Pan in Bura Galmagala division, Fafi constituency in Garissa County to cushion residents from drought.
When completed, the dam will serve approximately 69,000 households for domestic, livestock and small-scale irrigation. The water pan has a capacity of harvesting 350,000 cubic metres of rain water.
Speaking when he made a visit to the project site CDA Managing Director MD Dr. Mohammed Keinan termed the project a game changer in addressing their perennial water shortage that has beleaguered the region.
“This dam will mitigate the effect of drought facing this region, as CDA, we had to make an emergency decision because this is the only source of water to serve the entire community including schools,” said Keinan.
110 kilometre walk
Currently local residents are forced to endure a 110 kilometers walk to access the rare commodity for both livestock and domestic use. This is as effects of climate change continue to ravage the country.
“The purpose of small holder irrigation is to achieve the food security of the area inhabitants, and from the engineers report the dam is 30 percent complete, and will be complete before the end of this year. The dam will have sufficient water to cater for the entire population needs,” he added.
According to Sasa Abdulahi, a local resident welcomed the project saying it will positively relieve them from the burden of walking long distances to look for water. She said the little water they get from the few sources is also not pure and safe for drinking.
“We are happy because this big project will save us from suffering from water borne related diseases, the water we use is not safe for drinking because we share it with domestic animals,”Abdulahi said.
Area Member of the County assembly Yusuf Omar Abdi, said since independence, the residents have only depended on rainy water which is trapped in water pans. Most of which are not sufficient.
“Most of the residents have been migrants because of the search for water, we have examples of pastoralists who migrate for about 500 kilometers from here with their cattle because of drought, we are happy as residents because this project will bring water to our doorstep,” said Abdi.
[CDA, MD Dr. Mohamed Keinan addressing media at the construction site of Earth Fill Dam water Pan in Bura, Galmagala division Garissa County. Photo/Ahmed Omar].
Assistant County commissioner Bura Sub County Titus Mbogo underscored the need to fast track the Water project before the rainy season kicks off later this year. Alternatively the residents have also depended on Water tankers which have proven to be expensive.
“We call on other players to join hands with the government and do whatever necessary to save these communities from drought. The only solution is to bring water with trucks which can cost not less than 100,000 per track,” said Mbogo.
The residents also want the government to invest money for pumping the water to other regions around there to save hundreds of residents bearing the brunt of drought and famine.