SNV World, a Netherlands Development Organisation has rolled out a smart water solution technology in various counties to increase water storage facilities for farming. The project that has kicked off in Machakos County dubbed ‘smart water for agriculture’, targets small and medium entrepreneurial farmers to help them increase water productivity, income and save on labour.
According to SNV World, the water efficient technology entails construction of a water pan depending on the size of land and crops to grow. The water pans are of different designs either rectangular or square depending on county requirements. in putting up the water pan, some factors need to be considered such as evaporation rate, crop water requirements and method of water application, which varies across counties or regions.
Also, through the project, farmers can get guidance on the cost involved in developing a water pan. For instance, the initial capital expenditure for a water pan design to be implemented on a quarter piece of a farm, the farmer will spend between KES50,000-200,000 depending on the liner thickness and method of excavation.
Though the solution could be expensive for farmers, the water pans provide guaranteed storage capacity and are durable compared to storage or concrete tanks. Lastly, the organization has developed a water pan dimension application for different counties that they are working with. The application(app)available on google play for android phones, aids farmers to determine their water pan dimensions and evaluate the cost of constructing a water pan.
Recently, the national government and Meru County partnered in a plan to dig 600 water pans in arid and semi-arid areas to provide water for agriculture. The county plans to build 400 to address water shortage in Buuri, Tigania West, Tigania East, Igembe Central and Igembe North sub-counties.