Plans are in top gear to rehabilitate the Ndigiria water pan to a multipurpose dam.
On Wednesday, Kilifi County Executive Committee member for Water and Environment Omar Said visited the water pan to assess its status.
Currently, the water pan serves about 5,000 people.
Speaking after inspecting the water pan, Said said a team of engineers will be sent to the area to work with residents and come up with ways on revamping the water pan.
“This water pan has the potential of changing the livelihoods of this region. What is needed is to redesign and desilt it so that we can have a major multipurpose dam. Currently, most water that would have benefited the locals through this water pan is going to water because it broke the banks and a lot of water is going away from the inlet,” he said.
The water pan was dug by the then Arid Lands resource management project in 2008.
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The project included greenhouse farming, fishponds and outfield farming.
Said added that the plan is to expand the water pan and initiate livelihoods projects around the dam.
“We will also make sure we install pipes from the dam to the villages around so that people do not waste time in search of water but water will be in their homes,” he added
He said the vision of the Gideon Mung’aro led government is to establish major water projects in the villages to reduce the over-dependency of the water from Barich water works.
“Right now because of the ongoing drought, the yield of the boreholes at Baricho water works has gone down. As a county government, we will make sure we sink more water pans so that water from Baricho water works will be supplementing the water pans and not the other way round,” he said
Last year Ndigiria hit the headlines after residents turned to grass for food.
The pan had dried up and livestock were dying.
Sokoke member of county assembly Harrision Thaura Mweni, said that the Ndigiria dam is capable of supplying water to the entire Ganze Constituency.
Thaura said that the water pan, which receives water from the Voi river, is currently serving four villages despite being affected by the ongoing drought.
Thaura said he is collaborating with the department to protect the dam and improve it so that residents can do agriculture without relying on rain.
The MCA said recently a bigger area of the banks of the water pan was washed away by flash floods.
“This water pan is sustaining livestock from Mandera, Isiolo and Garissa counties. Wild animals like the elephants also come here to drink water. Before the drought, this place was surrounded by banana plantation but the drought and the jumbos destroyed everything. If it is expanded then this area will be food secure,” he said
Ndigiria assistant chief James Randu said the expansion of the water pan would unlock the potential of the area.
The sub location alone has a population of 4227 people in 871 households.