• The project activities commenced in May 2016 and will be implemented over 24 months.
• Some of the challenges facing the project are slow adoption of training by farmers and high rate of soil erosion.
The Italian government has given a Sh1 billion loan for Wei Wei Integrated Development Project phase three in West Pokot County.
The release of the funds will see 325 hectares of additional land under irrigation.
It brings the total land under irrigation in Wei Wei up to 600 hectares as under phase 1 and 2.
Jonathan Ruto, the Kerio Valley Development Authority regional manager, said the components of the project will include civil work covering project design and supervision, and irrigation infrastructure.
Ruto said the additional funds will increase crop production and help attain food security.
He spoke yesterday in Kapenguria during the county development implementation coordination committee chaired by the area county commissioner Apollo Okello.
Ruto pointed out some of the challenges facing the project as slow adoption of training by farmers and high rate of soil erosion at Korellach catchment area, which has damaged irrigation systems.
"We have seen that famers are slow in adoption of training and destruction of the pipes by the community to get water for their livestock. But we are sourcing for more funds for capacity building of the local farmers," he said.
"The beneficiaries under phase 1 and 2 have been able to increase crop production and generate additional income to improve their livelihood and hope that after completion of phase 3 more farmers benefit and in the long run improve the economy of the area," said the regional manager.
The project activities commenced on May 2016 and will be implemented over 24 months.
Under last-mile connectivity in the county, Kenya Power and Lighting Company regional sales manager Milimoh Amusavi said the programme will cover 239 schemes targeting 7,330 costumers.