A vandalised intake and rusty pipes are what remains of a Sh6.4 million Cheraik Irrigation Scheme in Baringo County.
Established along Emining River, the project according to the locals, has not benefited them, seven years since its inception. The 2013/2014 scheme was meant to provide irrigation water to over a 300-acre parcel of land.
However, what is left lying on the ground are vandalised pipes and the intake to the irrigation scheme.
Baringo County being 80 per cent arid and semi-arid, was allocated Sh31,963,811 to carry out various irrigation projects seven years ago. The projects were expected to cover a total of 1,075 acres of land.
The projects included Cheraik, Kapkelelwa, Awee, Mukuyuni, Emsos and Emining.
Cheraik irrigation scheme stalled after a water dispute between locals arose as those living downstream complained that water from the river which they relied on for domestic use was not reaching them. This led to the collapse of the scheme even before the locals could benefit.
“Since the intake was vandalized three years ago, we have never seen anyone come to access its condition and have it repaired,” said Lydon Lemiso, a resident.
Some locals had started using the water from the irrigation scheme before the dispute arose and were using for farming onions, watermelon and cabbages.
Kiplagat Magut another resident said everything stopped with the vandalism that occurred. He blamed the county government of failing to revive the project and failing to address the water dispute.
In Sacho ward, a Sh14 million Kapkelelwa irrigation scheme has also been abandoned.
Audit records indicate that Kapkelelwa irrigation scheme was established on seasonal river and a water reservoir was never factored in.
Baringo Governor Stanley Kiptis said efforts to revive the irrigation schemes are underway.
“We are in talks and will engage the National Government to have a water reservoir along river Emining to avert the conflict that has been led to its destruction,” said Kiptis.