The Coast Development Authority (CDA) has completed phase 1 of the US $30.4m water project in Taita Taveta, Kenya. At least 100 smallholder farmers are set to benefit from phase one of the project which is expected to boost agricultural productivity and improve food security in the region.
Water project in Taita Taveta
According to CDA Managing Director Dr Mohamed Keinan, Taita Taveta County is a semi-arid region frequently facing severe water scarcity especially during drought seasons whose main economic activities are small-scale rain-fed agriculture. “The project is aimed at utilizing the Lake Challa water resource to supply water for domestic and irrigation use for the benefit of the residents of Taveta, Mwatate and Voi areas and supply water to support livestock, fisheries and forestry including wildlife at the Tsavo National Park,” he said.
He further added that the project will go a long way in improving the lives of smallholder farmers and reduce vulnerability in the catchment area. Lake Challa, a volcanic crater that covers 4.5 square kilometers is a transboundary freshwater lake on the Kenya-Tanzania border. The regional authority carried out a feasibility study for Lake Challa Water Resources Integrated Development Project in 2012 through a consultant.
According to Dr Keinan, due to the high cost of implementation of the 1,000 hectare project the irrigation scheme will be implemented in three main phases. “So far the total project cost for the first phase is estimated at US $414,400 which was mobilised and secured from the National Treasury,” he said. He also added that besides the smallholder farmers, the project is undertaking domestic water supply to 7,000 people and 15,000 livestock.