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Sunday, December 5, 2021

Sh34 Million Water Projects Breathes Life Into Magarini

An Sh34 million irrigation project in Chakama, Magarini by the national government has benefited over 600 families in Kilifi County.  

The irrigation projects being implemented by the Coast Development Authority (CDA) are meant to cushion the locals from the drought that is currently ravaging the region. 

The three schemes funded by Coast Development Authority (CDA) for the past two years have seen over 800 acres of land being put under irrigation and are now producing food that is ready for consumption and sale.

Coast Regional commissioner John Elungata who officially commissioned the complete project said the aim of such programs is to prevent residents from depending on relief food which is less compared to what they produce through irrigation.

Speaking in Chakama during the official handing over of the project Mr. Elungata said as a regional development committee their aim is to see government projects completed the same way CDA did.

“This will enable us to feed our people it’s not always about giving relief food, we give it only as a stop-gap but for the long term the only remedy is to ensure people produce food,’ he said.

He added that for Chakama 610 families will get food from the farm and shall not go and cue to get 2 kilograms of relief food.

The commissioner said irrigation helps farmers produce a variety of food from short-term to long-term types of food example beans, maize, bananas, sweet potatoes, pepper, among others.

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“By having food all the time there will be no more hunger in the region and some of the food will be sold and generate income for the locals,” he said.

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Currently, due to the drought disaster, he said the government has begun relief distribution to all those families affected.

The Regional Commissioner said the process was delayed a bit due to procurement procedures but all had been done and food was available for all the victims.

The CDA Managing Director Mohamed Keinan said they supported three schemes in Chakama irrigation which in total cover 800 acres.

He said the first scheme was called Gava with 420 acres followed by Kibora and Kanduru all of which are successful.

Keinan said in every scheme CDA developed demonstration plots to teach the farmers how to do agribusiness.

“Most of the times you have seen residents of Chakama having challenges in accessing food, which prompted us to come up with the irrigation scheme so as to address the problems,” he said.

Floods he said have been a challenge as they destroy pumps something which forced them to install portable generators so as to remove them whenever there are threats of floods.

He said the 400-acre scheme cost Sh. 16 million while the other two schemes cost them Sh. 9 million each.

The chairman of Chakama irrigation project Solomon Bashiri thanked CDA for funding the irrigation projects which will go a long way in addressing the challenges of food insecurity in the area.

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He said they were given pumps, the construction of chambers, and seeds so as to do farming thr9ugh irrigation.

“This project really helped the community as they could not pump water from the river which is a long distance away,” he said.

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Bashir said they still have a challenge because the river keeps on diverting every season which forced them to ask for more pumps.

Currently, he said the drought situation is worse and many people have been affected but through the project, farmers are able to plant and sell vegetables to get cash. 

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