Irrigation farmers starring at huge financial losses

Irrigation farmers along River Tana are starring at a possible loss of their food and cash crops valued at million of shillings after the river changed its course 3 weeks ago occasioned by April floods.

According to the farmers the pipes from the generator sets that were submerged in water to pump out water are now hanging out after the river shifted it course after the floods receded.

The most affected farms are Nasra, Tawakal and Rahma whose commercial crops that include mangoes, quavers, vegetables, bananas, water melon among others have started withering due to lack of sufficient water.

Majority of the farmer who are victims of the past severe droughts that rendered the destitute opted for irrigation farming as their sources of livelihood.

Jamal Duale the chairman of Tawakal farm,a victim of the 1981 drought urged the county government to move with speed and construct dykes to direct back the water to its original course.

Jamal said the crops have started flowering and require a lot of water to enable them produce.

“We are appealing to the county government and other well wishers to assist in constructed dykes that will guide the river to its original course,” Jamal said.

“We lost millions of shilling to floods after our crops were washed away. We are slowly recovering but with the river changing its course and fiancés required to redirect it course which we cannot afford,” he added.

The chairman blamed the county government officials in charge of agriculture for abandoning the sector which is the food basket of the town.

Moge Askar a member of Nasra farm said the ministry of agriculture should revert back to the national government.

Askar said they used to get services when the ministry of agriculture was under the national government.

“We were better off when the ministry was under the national government. We were visited by extension services and during times of disaster we used to get assistance fats and on time,” Askar said.

“We rarely get extension services and when we visit the ministry’s offices, we are get empty promises,” he added.