Katilu Irrigation Scheme located in Turkana South and managed by the National Irrigation Board has targeted 1,900 farmers aimed at enhancing food security in the hunger-prone area that makes farming in the County an uphill task, especially to the small-scale farmers. A good number of small-scale farmers in Turkana depend on the periodic short rains to plant their crops. Erratic climatic changes have resulted to this mode of farming becoming unsustainable.
The inability to access enough water for the farms in the County is drawing back any gains made against food insecurity. According to the UNDP Report 2018, over 70% of people in the arid region live below the poverty level. Food insecurity is rampant as more households go to bed hungry.
Africare is currently supporting 380 households farming in at least 190 acres in Katilu Ward, Turkana South Sub-County. As part of its activities aimed at enhancing food security, Africare with funding from Bayer Fund donated diesel-powered water pumps to two farmer groups (Lishe Bora and Green Angles). The two groups are currently cultivating highly nutritious vegetables and other horticultural crops and fruits in the scheme. Expansion efforts by the farmers in the scheme had been hampered by the lack of enough water to irrigate their land. They could therefore only farm a section close to waterways. “The water pump will be of great help in expanding our land. We can now achieve our goal of producing more food.” Said Lilly Rose Akori a group member Lishe Bora Farmer Group after receiving their pump on 12th January 2021.
The same sentiments were shared by members of Green Angles Farmers Group. With the new pump, the furthest corners of their farm can now be reached and the watering time has also been reduced leading to savings in the purchase of fuel, meaning funds can now be redirected in terms of expansion noting that during the last harvest before the donation, the farm managed to harvest a total of 600 pieces of water melon each being sold at an average cost of Ksh. 300 translating to Ksh. 180,000 (equivalent of 18,000 USD income). Indeed, now that the group has been provided with a large pump that increases the area that can be watered, the next harvest will definitely be bigger and the benefits will be felt in the farm that benefits 20 project beneficiaries enrolled in the project. The group received their pump in December 2020.
Africare is also building capacity among the farmers on water conservation. Farmers have undergone a week-long training and have been trained on different techniques that they can use to utilize and conserve available water on their farms.
Africare IMPACT Program aims to increase the production of diversified foods in Turkana County. Through a two-pronged approach, IMPACT aims to reverse the malnutrition circle.