•The Sh. 21 million project was implemented by the county government of Kitui with funding from World Bank
•The water project was commissioned by the Kitui CEC for agriculture and livestock Stephen Mbaya Kimwele on Tuesday.
An upward of 4000 residents of the water-scarce Utooni village in Kyangwithya ward in Kitui Central sub-county had a reason to smile on Tuesday when an earth dam was commissioned in the area.
The ceremony to launch the Kavingo earth dam which was built at a cost of Sh 21 million was officiated by the Kitui CEC for Agriculture and Livestock Stephen Kimwele.
Also present was the county chief officer for irrigation Gladys Kivoto.
Kimwele said the 37 484 cubic meters capacity project was accomplished by the county Government of Kitui through funding from the World Bank through the National Agriculture and Rural Inclusive Growth Program.
Speaking during the ceremony to launch the project, Kimwele said the water from the dam could be used for domestic purposes and watering livestock.
He however emphasized the need to use irrigated agriculture by locals to improve their livelihoods as well as keeping hunger at bay with the increasingly unreliable rain patterns in the county.
Kimwele said since the rains have become increasingly erratic leading to incessant crop failure, it was time the residents used the water for small-scale irrigation in order to keep hunger at bay.
“This project will be a boon in alleviating hunger. It is important for the residents to use the water to grow kale and tomatoes for food and income generation. At the same time use the water for their livestock,” said Kimwele.
The CEC at the same time called on the people of Kitui County to support Governor Julius Malombe’s water provision programs that were geared towards alleviating water scarcity and also promote irrigated agriculture for food sufficiency.
“The governor has started implementing the promises he made during pre-election campaigns that he will populate the county with water dams, pans and sand dams. The process has kicked off in earnest,” said Kimwele.
He stressed that the top of Governor Malombe’s priorities was his promise to the people of Kitui that he would seek to alleviate hunger through improved agricultural practices as well as water provision.
The CEC also noted that it was time jobless youth embraced agriculture instead of being obsessed with which colour jobs were increasingly becoming scarce.
“There is money in agriculture. We are calling on the youth including those in institutions of learning to take up farming as there is money in agriculture.
“If one goes into agri-business one would always raise money to meet personal needs through the sale of farm produce,” he emphasised.