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LET'S CONNECT

A woman fetching water from the river

Kinango Dam Project Launch

In a bid to address the perpetual vulnerability of the Vigurungani community in Kwale, one of the driest and most impoverished counties in the country, the M-PESA Foundation in partnership with the Kenya Red Cross Society are set to implement a long term water project for the community.

The project which will be implemented over a period of 18 months is expected to benefit at least 2,500 people directly and 10,000 others indirectly will address cross cutting needs including food security, water supply, improved sanitation, hygiene awareness, nutrition, health care interventions as well as economic stimulus through formation of agriculture cooperatives and linkages to markets.

Speaking during the ground breaking ceremony, M-PESA Foundation Trustee Bob Collymore said the integrated disaster risk reduction project aims to reduce the dependency of the community on chronic relief feeding and instead empower them produce their own food and earn income.

“This project will increase food security through increased access to safe water, agriculture support, health and nutrition awareness,” Collymore said.

Kenya Red Cross Secretary General Abbas Gullet said the climatic conditions in the area lead to several communities being food insecure as agriculture cannot be practiced to the desired level.

“Low erratic precipitation coupled with poor water supply infrastructure to support irrigation interventions contribute heavily to this predicament,” Gullet said.

The Kshs. 207 million project will also reduce diseases like diarrhea, malaria and malnutrition in the area which is attributed to poor access to safe drinking water, low levels of food production and health education.

It includes rehabilitation and improvement of Nyalani Dam to attain a water storage capacity of approximately 500 million litres of water for irrigation, domestic and livestock usage.

It will also lay irrigation infrastructure to open up approximately 105 acres of farming under drip irrigation, agriculture extension services for the farmers to enhance farming knowledge and skills, health and hygiene education and establishment of capacity building of various community group structures.

“It is clear that more holistic interventions are required to be carried out in order to break the cycle of vulnerability these communities face, failure to do so would mean a continuation of the status quo and a constant degradation of the lifestyle of these communities” he added.

“As a government we are responsible for our people, we are supposed to ensure that no Kenyan lacks the basic needs. Water is one of those basic needs. However, we cannot do it alone, we need support from the private sector. We thank the M-pesa foundation and Kenya Red Cross for this initiative,” Cabinet Secretary Professor Judy Wakhungu