The Government will establish a corridor along the Galana-Kulalu irrigation project in Tana River County to allow the residents access-watering points for their livestock, Deputy President William Ruto has said.
Mr Ruto said following the establishment of the irrigation project, residents in the county have had problems in accessing watering points for their livestock.
The Government, he added, values peaceful coexistence among communities in the region and was committed to addressing issues that threaten their harmonious relations.
Addressing a meeting of leaders from Tana River and officials from the ministries of Environment and Forestry, Wildlife, Lands, Agriculture and Devolution in his Harambee Annex office in Nairobi, the Deputy President said the solution was being sought over human-animal conflicts in the county over watering points.
Present were Cabinet Secretaries Mwangi Kiunjuri (Agriculture), Keriako Tobiko (Environment) and Farida Karoney (Lands). Others were MPs Ali Wario (Bura), Juma Wario (Tana River) and Rehema Hassan (Women Rep).
“We want to create a corridor for them to access watering points for their livestock,” said Mr Ruto.
“The creation of a livestock corridor in Tana River will allow access to watering points and pasture as a key intervention in maintaining tranquility and enable the residents live harmoniously with the surrounding communities,” added Mr Ruto.
The Deputy President said the Government has decided to strike a balance on the use of land in the county for production as well as take into consideration the interests of the community.
Mr Ruto said 250,000 acres of the 1.75million acres would be carved to establish the corridor for the watering points.
He said a demarcation exercise will be carried out in the area to enable the residents make use of the areas earmarked for them without necessarily encroaching on the parts meant for irrigation activities.
“The Ministry of Lands should now embark on a survey work to pave way for demarcation to create a boundary between the irrigation and the watering points,” said Mr Ruto.
The Deputy President said the Government was doing everything possible to ensure the success of the Galana/Kulalu irrigation project to guarantee food security in the country.
“As part of our efforts to ensure the successful implementation of the Big Four projects among them food security, we are determined to make sure the success of this irrigation project. That’s why we want to solve issues that may undermine the implementation of the Galana/Kulalu irrigation project,” said Mr Ruto.
He said a 26 kilometers water canal that was being constructed in Bura Constituency would help put up more land under irrigation upon its completion in the next eight months.
The MPs thanked the Government for moving with speed to solve the problem facing pastoralists in the region.
They said plans to create the livestock corridor will greatly help the people, majority of whom are pastoralists to access watering points for their animals.
“We are grateful for what the Government is doing to relieve the residents of the suffering they undergo while looking for water for their livestock following the establishment of the Galana/Kulalu irrigation project,” said Ms Hassan.
Mr Tobiko said being a pastoralist, he understands the plight of the people of Tana River in accessing watering points for their livestock.
“We will work with all the stakeholders to address the problem and come up with lasting solution that will satisfy all the interest groups in the affected areas,” said Mr Tobiko.