County Chief Officer for Agriculture and Land Reclamation, Dr. Jacob Lolelea, has said that the Agriculture department will put focus on reviving and sustaining all stalled irrigation schemes along the riverine areas as part of its efforts to increase crop production and achieve food security agenda.
He said utilisation of the arable land and rehabilitation of farm infrastructure in the stalled irrigation schemes would aid self-reliance on farm produce and end dependence on relief food.
Dr. Lolelea spoke today at Nakwamoru, Kaputir ward when he chaired a meeting with farmers, area leaders and the contractor on resumption of rehabilitation works of Nakwamoru irrigation scheme.
The scope of the work include rehabilitation of the intake structure deck and gates, construction of upstream and downstream river bank gabion protection as well as fencing of the farm .
In his remarks, CO Lolelea assured the farmers of the County Government’s commitment to work closely with the community and the contractor to ensure that the rehabilitation works are completed soon for its operationalisation.
He said that completion of the works will enhance farm productivity through realignment of infrastructure to re-direct adequate water flow into the intake structure even during low peaks.
On disputes between the contractor and the community, the Chief Officer urged farmers to use the necessary administrative channels to ease and speed completion of the rehabilitation works. He noted that the department will station an additional tractor in Turkana South Sub-County to help tilling and other farm works.
CO Lolelea challenged the contractor to consult the community on local design that were used traditionally to control flow of water to the farmers and warned against shoddy jobs as there will close monitoring by the irrigation department.
The contractor will also do desilting of lined main canal, on-farm bush clearing, compaction of trapezoidal earth sections and feeder canals in the 180 hectares farm.
County Director for Irrigation and Land Reclamation Lotome Chammah said that the contractor had committed to complete the work before September this year. He added that construction of an aqueduct across the main canal will protect the structure against flash floods that have in past destroyed crops.
Kaputir Ward Member of County Assembly Shadrack Lodonga, who was also present, said that insecurity had in the past affected farming in the area.
He stated that farmers were ready to go back to the farms once rehabilitation works are complete.