Background Information

Tana Irrigation Scheme is the oldest National Irrigation Authority scheme having started in 1953. The Scheme gazette area is 12,000 acres. The initially developed area was 900 ha (2,500 acres), and the scheme has a possible extension area of 12,000 acres.

The current area under irrigation is 4,700 acres with the current number of farming families (households) being 1,050 registered farmers therefore a population of about 6000 persons depend on this project for their livelihood.The scheme collapsed in 1989 when Tana River changed its course, and was revived in 2009, rehabilitation which was funded by Arab Bank for Economic Development in Africa (BADEA) and the Government of Kenya.

Statistical Data

  • Location/County – Tana River County
  • Year of establishment – 1953
  • Gazetted Area – 12,630 Acres
  • Main Crop – Maize
  • Area under Irrigation – 5,000 Acres
  • Source of irrigation water – River Tana
  • No. of household farmers – 1,450 Households
  • Type of irrigation – Water is abstracted through pumping, conveyed and distributed in open earth canal and applied through furrow irrigation system
  • Other Crops – Cotton, watermelon, green grams, onions, pasture and other horticultural crops

Current Status

Currently, commercial maize has been allocated 1,650 acres, rice 850 acres, green grams 250 acres, pasture 80 acres and horticulture 100 acres. A total of 2,930 acres.

Land preparation is ongoing for more cropping.

Projected Benefits/ Benefits being realized

  • Poverty eradication
  • Food security
  • Employment creation
  • Prevention of farmers – pastoralists’ conflicts by providing livestock water in the irrigation canals thus preventing the livestock from accessing the water from the river where the farmers do their farming.