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Government to invest more earth dams, Says PS

KNA  The government will invest more on construction of earth dams to harvest rain water in drought prone areas in Garissa County.

Speaking in Masalani, Ijara sub-county Friday, during an inspection tour of various water projects in the area, Water PS Joseph Irungu said the projects are part of the ministry's long term solution to address the effects of drought in semi-arid areas.

Irungu said the government will also rehabilitate Masalani water project that had stalled to ensure there was enough water for residents.

“We know water is everything here and that is why we want to heavily invest in earth dams to help residents access water even during drought,” Irungu said.

The PS said both levels of government have been trucking water to residents in far-flung areas during the dry spell and the earth dams will reduce the problem.

According to the meteorological department’s forecast for October - December short rains, the North Eastern counties of Garissa, Wajir, Marsabit, Isiolo, Mandera will receive below average (depressed) rainfall.

Already hundreds of livestock in Garissa have crossed into the Boni forest in search of water and pasture after some local water pans started drying up.

The government through Northern Water Works Development Agency (NWWDA) is already constructing a Sh43 million earth dam in the area with a capacity of 125 cubic meters, expected to be complete by March 2021.

The PS also inspected the ongoing works on Garissa sewerage project which is being undertaken by the national government at a cost of Sh679 million

Ijara MP Sophia Abdinoor said the dam will go a long way in reducing conflicts during dry spell.

"We witness bloody clashes as locals converge at watering points during dry spell. This project and many more to come will reduce such conflicts," Sophia said.

She said residents especially women used to trek for long distances in search of water, hence the dam will go a long way in addressing the challenge.

“We appreciate what the government has done, such dams will change the lives of our people, we appeal to the national government to invest more on such projects,” she added.

Also present were senior government officers including the Director of Public Prosecutions Nurdin Haji and leaders from the area.

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