The board is not just making artificial rivers but is also digging boreholes for the people of North Eastern Province to make use of the underground water.
“We have sunk hundreds of boreholes that have helped reduce animal deaths and waterborne diseases,” he says.
He says once completed, Rahole Canal alone will benefit more than 80,000 people and their animals.
A second canal to originate from Saka, about 50km north of Garissa, will run in a loop for a radius of 30km from the river.
To the northern tip of the province, a huge water project at Rhamu in Mandera District to harness water from the Dawa River is 30 per cent complete.
There are other ongoing projects in Isiolo, Nyahururu and Marsabit.
Shurie says his water crusade for northern Kenya has quenching thirst in once dry areas such as Hulugho, Sangalo and Mudogashe where deep bore holes have been used to tap the vital commodity from the entrails of the barren earth.
Shurie says his involvement in matters to do with water in an area under the perpetual grip of drought stretches back two decades to the time he was district water officer in Garissa, later becoming the North Eastern Provincial water officer.
“I have learnt during the course of my work in the region that proper leadership can indeed move mountains. Most of the board’s achievements are through lobbying for donor assistance, with the Government as a facilitator. Such initiatives require shrewd leadership.”
“So, poor leadership at the local level is mainly to blame for the region’s stagnation since independence.”