It is huge relief to over 7, 200 residents of Elgeyo Marakwet after President William Ruto launched the construction of the Ksh170 million Yokot Kapteren Dam Integrated projects.
The projects Yokot, Etyo, and Emiat dams will be undertaken by KVDA in a three-phased implementation plan and will enhance water supply for irrigation, household, and livestock use.
The storage capacity of the three water projects will be 420, 000 m3. It will irrigate a total of 600 acres of land that will encourage the growing of horticultural crops for food security and sustainable livelihoods. In addition, the project will help in environmental conservation covering 150 km2.
Phase one of the project will involve the rehabilitation of the Yokot dam at a cost of Ksh54 million and will be completed within four months. The dam was developed in 1948 by the local community to provide water for irrigation, human and livestock consumption.
However, over the years, due to human activities and severe drought due to climate change, the dam has receded in volume. This, in turn, has reduced the water supply to a level of 70, 000 m3 from its capacity of 170, 000m3.
Once the capacity of 170,000 m3 is restored, the water will be adequate to irrigate over 200 acres of land and also provide water for human and livestock use.
The region is suitable for growing avocadoes, passion fruits, potatoes, beans, tomatoes, and cabbages.
The three projects once complete ultimately contribute towards the government’s Bottom-up Economic and Transformation Agenda (BETA). It will produce over 1,050 tons of horticultural crops which will translate to Ksh80 million annually.
It will also enhance fish farming and promote apiculture as a way to spur economic development in the area.