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Governors from ASAL counties call for “less talk” and more practical solutions to water security



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GARISSA—Governors from frontier counties want practical solutions to the perennial water shortage in the region.

During a round table meeting with partners at a Nairobi hotel on Wednesday, the county bosses said more action was needed to effectively harvest water during the looming El Nino rains.

Garissa Governor Nathif Jama, who spoke on behalf of his colleagues from Mandera, Wajir, West Pokot and Lamu, which are among the counties that form the Frontier Counties Development (FCDC), lamented that there was slow progress in achieving water security.

“Now that we are expecting heavy rains, we need to talk about how we can harvest water for our counties in order to address the drought that has affected our counties frequently,” Jama said, noting that the region has just emerged from the worst drought in four decades.

Everything is there if you just add water. The land in Asals is productive if water is provided… It is time to be practical. How much does it cost to build a water pan? It is very affordable… costing Sh1 million at most,” said United Nations Resident Coordinator Stephen Jackson, who rooted for public-private partnerships in Kenya’s quest to transition from rain-fed agriculture to irrigation.

Dr Jackson said greater effort should be placed on water resource management and water governance.


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