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Pastoralists get water dam after years of battling drought

Saruni Laputit, a pastoralist at Mosiro area in Narok East. [Robert Kiplagat, Standard]

Reprieve for drought-stricken pastoralists in semi-arid Mosiro area in Narok East sub-county after they got a mega water pan.

The project was initiated by the World Bank as it targeted 14 Arid and Semi-Arid Lands(ASAL) counties in the country.

The hustle by the otherwise nomadic Maasai community of having to move from one place to the other in search of pasture and water for their livestock and domestic use will now remain a thing of the past as the community gets the precious commodity.

Saruni Laputit,46, a livestock keeper in the area could not hide his joy as his livestock drunk water from the well-designed water troughs, a thing he had never imagined could happen.

“We have been suffering for many decades and have had to drive our livestock all the way to Siyiapei river which is almost 20 kilometers from here. Now things have changed and our cattle, sheep and goats can now drink water right here,” said Mr Laputit.

The dam now serves over 1,000 households and over 3,000 livestock depend on it on daily basis thus solving the water crisis that has been bedeviling the pastoral community.

According to James Tendwa, the head of the World Bank- sponsored Regional Pastoralists Livelihoods Resilience Project(RPLRP) said the international bank kicked off the Sh7.7 billion in 2014 and is set to be complete by April 2021.

“So far we have done various projects on drought mitigation in the 14 arid counties and we are now at 85 percent after completing 113 water projects. We hope that these flagship projects will be sustained for generations to come,” said Mr Tendwa.

Mr Tendwa also revealed that some community resilient projects such as beekeeping, pastoral field schools were part of the deal.

Narok County Agriculture Chief Executive John Marindany who attended the event pledged that the county will embark on capacity building on the community on how to sustain the project.

“We are grateful for the World Bank and the national government for this project that is a boost to our pastoralists. I promise that we shall ensure that this project is maintained for sustainability,” said Mr Marindany.

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