• Friday, 01 March 2024
IRRIGATION FARMING;  Mwingi farmers reap big amid ravaging drought

IRRIGATION FARMING; Mwingi farmers reap big amid ravaging drought

Farmers living along Kithyoko River in Nguutani, Mwingi West are reaping big this drought season.

The farmers pump water from the river into six sand dams. The dams retain water, which they use to irrigate their produce.

Former Kitui Agriculture and Livestock chief officer James Songolo said the six dams have enabled residents to become food secure and also earn a living from selling their produce.

"Cascading is spacing sand dams within a short distance to get a permanent source of water and avoid the runoff," he said. 

Songolo who is eyeing the Mwingi West parliamentary seat said if the same would be replicated to all rivers across the constituency, residents would be empowered.

He said farming would become easier as well as cattle rearing, as there would be animal feeds and water.

Songolo promised to do more of sand dams once elected.

Irrigation has improved the lives of residents living along Kithyoko River.
SUBSISTENCE FARMING: Irrigation has improved the lives of residents living along Kithyoko River.
Image: LINAH MUSANGI

Farmer Charles Ngesa said he is reaping big at a time when many did not harvest by selling his vegetables to residents.

He has planted kales, cabbages, carrots, maize, pawpaw, onions, tomatoes and bananas.

Ngesa said the water has enabled him to farm anytime without waiting for the rain.

He said with the money he makes, he is able to take care of his family.

Resident Mutisya Muema said he was surviving on menial jobs but since the water from the seasonal river was tapped, he has ventured into farming.

He said farming has enabled him to take his children to a good school.

Muema said he sells his vegetables to nearby markets while other buyers come for the produce on his farm.

(Edited by Bilha Makokha)

Farmer Evans Muoki carries vegetables harvested from his farm.
REAP BIG: Farmer Evans Muoki carries vegetables harvested from his farm.
Image: LINAH MUSANGI
Charles Ngesa attends to a vegetable buyer on his farm.

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