There is need to have a collaborative framework between the County Government and National Irrigation Authority (NIA) on engagement and implementation of programmes at Katilu and Elelea irrigation schemes.
Speaking today in Lodwar when he hosted a delegation from Katilu NIA’s office, CEC Aemun said that the framework would help unlock the full potential and provide proper coordination of operations in the irrigation schemes, that had failed to live to their expectations of being food baskets to Turkana and neighboring regions.
The irrigation agency team led by the Authority’s Katilu Manager Daniel Waweru, had paid a courtesy call to the County Executive to brief him on the progress and farm operations in Katilu ward.
CEC Aemun faulted the Authority for lack of transparency in its operations at Katilu irrigation scheme, that he said had greatly contributed to under-production in the scheme despite investment by National Government towards infrastructure development of the farm.
He assured the NIA officials of County Government willingness to collaborate with the irrigation agency to co-share implementation programs to avoid duplication of functions and projects in same farms. This he said, will help to spur crop production for commercial purposes and enable farmers generate income through sale of their produce.
County Director for Agriculture Paul Lokone acknowledged the existing irrigation scheme management challenge but regretted that despite presence of the irrigation authority,production at Katilu irrigation scheme had gone down compared to past years where it was a giant irrigation scheme known for crop production.
On his Part ,Katilu NIA’s manager Daniel Waweru said that the low production had been caused by change of farming system from basin to furrows ,that he said had partly contributed to the delay because farmers were allegedly taking long to learn it. He committed to fast track the collaboration framework and revealed that the National Government had in this financial year budgeted 128-million shillings for expansion works at Lokapel irrigation scheme and an additional five million shillings for maintenance of infrastructure at Katilu irrigation scheme.