In response to the pressing need for water access in Tana River County, the government of Kenya has allocated Sh48 million toward the establishment of essential water infrastructure. This allocation aims to address the challenges faced by pastoralist communities grappling with arid conditions in the region.

Speaking at Kone village on Tuesday, Colonel (Rtd) Hared Adan, the Chief Executive Officer of the National Drought Management Authority (NDMA), underscored the significance of the proposed water pan and borehole project. Adan highlighted that beyond benefiting the immediate communities around Kone, the project’s impact would extend to residents in neighboring counties such as Wajir and Garissa.

Colonel (Rtd) Adan emphasized the potential of the project to mitigate water conflicts, particularly during drought seasons, which often precipitate disputes between human populations and herders over limited water resources. He asserted the intention to classify the constructed dam as a strategic resource, stressing its role in providing water not only for local inhabitants but also for individuals outside Tana River County.

Addressing the residents of Kone Village, Adan urged responsible usage of the water resources and emphasized the importance of community stewardship in safeguarding the project’s sustainability. He called upon residents to adhere to forthcoming regulations aimed at ensuring the prudent utilization of the dam.

During the same event, Mr. Shallow Yahya, Chairman of the National Drought Management Authority, provided further details regarding the project. He outlined the scope of work, which encompasses the renovation of two existing boreholes and the construction of a water dam capable of holding approximately 460,000 cubic meters of water. This ambitious endeavor is budgeted at Sh48 million.

Yahya also announced plans to incorporate solar panels into the infrastructure, facilitating water pumping into the boreholes. This innovative approach aims to ensure continuous access to water resources for both human and animal populations, thereby enhancing the region’s resilience to drought.

In a commitment to further support pastoralist communities, Yahya pledged additional initiatives to construct water pans across different locales. He reiterated the project’s overarching goal: to alleviate water scarcity, particularly during periods of prolonged drought.

Local residents expressed gratitude for the anticipated benefits of the boreholes, anticipating a reduction in conflicts with wildlife, as they reside in proximity to the National Park. The establishment of these water sources is anticipated to enhance the livelihoods and well-being of the communities in Tana River County.

This initiative, spearheaded by the government and supported by the NDMA, reflects a concerted effort to address the persistent challenge of water scarcity in arid regions such as Tana River County. The collaborative endeavor underscores the commitment to sustainable development and the enhancement of community resilience in the face of environmental challenges.

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