The Government of Kenya has identified four key strategic areas under ‘’The Big Four’’ Plan to focus over the next five years that will accelerate broad based economic growth. Important to the Authority is the second area that focuses on initiatives that guarantee food security and improved nutrition to all Kenyans by 2022. In view of this, two programmes were initiated; the Household Irrigation Water Storage Programme and rehabilitation and construction of community water pans. The Authority implements water harvesting and storage initiatives to stabilize irrigation water for sustainability in production, food security both at household and community levels and efficient utilization of irrigation infrastructure.

Household Irrigation Water Storage Programme

This programme was initiated in the FY 2017/ 2018 with an aim of providing access to water to build resilience against drought for communities hit by drought and those that have experienced a decline in food and livestock production as well as water supply. The Authority is implementing Household Water Harvesting Irrigation Programme by constructing small water pans for free to individual farmers in various counties across the country. The goal of the project is to harvest surface runoff to help farmers carry out supplementary irrigation activities throughout the year.

Community Small Dams and Water Pans

Over the years, spanning from the colonial times, there has been numerous interventions of increasing access to water through harvesting and storage. It is estimated that there are over 6,000 water pans and small dams spread across the country both on public and private land. These reservoirs have been a sole source of water for diverse communities.

However, over time, they silted up or breached thus reducing their capacity to hold water. The objective of this project therefore is to rehabilitate the reservoirs and increase their capacity if possible to be utilized again for agricultural activities. The primary advantage of this is that land is already available eliminating the complication of land acquisition.

Irrigation Water Harvesting and Storage Background