Stakeholders in the irrigation and water sector are urging both the national government and county governments to educate farmers on the various types of irrigation systems.

This according to Davis & Shirtliff, a water and energy solutions company, says will go a long way towards increasing the use of irrigation across the country and improving the efficiency of existing schemes. With the achievement of food security being one of the government’s Big Four Agenda, best practices in irrigation can be the much needed step of action that will see the country finally be able to meet its annual demand of 51 million bags of maize.“Farmers can do more to optimize the use of water in their lands, and both the National and County governments can help them by investing in farmer outreach, education and assistance programs for on-farm water-use best management practices, all of which will yield bet The call comes in the wake of the on-going short rains and the debate on the proposed Irrigation Bill 2017 that hopes to promote and regulate development and management of irrigation in Kenya.

The proposed Bill, if enacted, seeks to move the country from relying too heavily on rain-fed agriculture and into irrigation with the bill proposing that counties be in-charge of small-scale irrigation schemes which are currently under the national government. The CEO of Davis & Shirtliff, which currently is involved in irrigation schemes in Kiambu, Nairobi and Taita Taveta counties added that: “Along with the education of farmers, more studies should be done to ensure that the best crops are recommended depending on the climatic conditions and soil types. ”As the Irrigation Bill continues to be deliberated on, Gatende pointed out that it is important that the Bill covers the different scenarios that can affect irrigation across the country.“The best irrigation systems vary depending on the available water resources which in turn vary across the different parts of the country. The irrigation bill should therefore cover these different scenarios and advise Kenyans on what the best practice would be in each situation from arid and semi-arid areas where water is scarce to other areas where water is plentiful,” he said. If enacted, the bill will also see the National Irrigation Board (NIB) replaced by National Irrigation Development Authority (NIDA). NIDA will have an expanded obligation that will include water storage infrastructure, water harvesting and flood control.

Gatende therefore urges that collaboration be enhanced by sharing a common vision of what would be in the best interest of Kenyans at large. “Institutions like the Water Resources Management Authority should be strengthened and supported as they play a key role in regulation. The national government could pass a law stipulating that all homes should harvest rain water at a recommended number of litres per home which would be stored and used. Some basic disinfection would also be advised to prevent people drinking contaminated water,” he pointed out. This could be the first step towards ensuring that an estimated 1.3 million Kenyans who, according to World Bank, faced starvation last year do not continue to endure perennial drought. In the same breath, farmers are being urged to take advantage of the on-going short rains by harvesting and storing the rain water and conserving by using the best irrigation systems and the best suited crops for their area.


Solar powered project changes lives-Zambia


A SOLAR powered water project has brought both relief and joy to the residents of Kalilo, an impoverished and desolate area on the Northern outskirts of Chingola.
The residents either trekked long distances in search of water or drew the commodity from shallow wells, and were frequently ravaged by waterborne diseases.
Fetching water from Kafue River was another option, but one which posed a threat especially to children, as the river is crocodile infested.
That is now history as the US$120,000 Kalilo Kabungo Water Project has brought clean water to about 16,000 residents with attendant benefits such as improved school enrolment and retention; reduced cases of diarrhoeal diseases; and enhanced productivity. Thanks to Konkola Copper Mines (KCM) Plc which contracted Davis and Shirtliff to develop a water solution for rural communities not supplied by the water utilities. Under the project, KCM Plc has installed five solar powered boreholes with filtration and purification systems, and distribution lines to 21 points to ensure water is readily, constantly, and affordably available to all members of the targeted communities. Apart from providing clean potable water to the communities, the project is also providing the commodity to schools and clinics in the area. Davies Kanshimba, 65, a farmer from Kalilo was found at Kalilo Health Centre where he recounted the challenges of accessing water to the launch of the project. “We had problems for patients, especially pregnant women who had to endure carrying own water in containers until the councillor sought help from KCM. So there is relief now and this is our joy as residents,” Mr. Kanshimba said. He explains that Kalilo Health Centre has even been turned into a cholera treatment centre for all suspected cholera cases in Chingola because of the availability of clean water. Zilani Mwambazi, a farmer also of Kalilo, equally shares the newly found joy.

A mother of five, Mrs. Mwambazi recounts how as an expecting mother, those who escorted her to the maternity clinic would carry water in containers.
“If they didn’t carry water, we would go and fetch it from the stream but the stream would sometimes dry up. We are now assured of water supply at the clinic,” Mrs. Mwambazi said with a sigh of relief. She was echoed by 37-year-old Catherine Sikaonga, a farmer of Kafue Gulf. Mrs Sikaonga, a mother of five, says she could not carry water in containers because she lives three hours away from the health centre. She would therefore fetch water from the nearby stream.
“Now we just carry a dish for bathing because we are assured of water supply,” she said. In Kakosa, Christopher Chinemba, the community leader recalls the joyful day when clean water flowed for the first time in September last year.

A farmer who has lived in the area for 29 years, Mr. Chinemba recalls how residents were drinking water which was coming from the mine pit and was hard. Diarrhoeal diseases were common then. “The water from the stream was polluted and not good for human consumption. Those with bicycles could cycle long distances to get clean water,” Mr. Chinemba said. We are now drinking clean water and diarrhoeal diseases have reduced. Our women can now concentrate on farming,” he added. Beyond improved sanitation, the initiative has borne more dividends. Lucas Chabala is the deputy headmaster at Shimulala Primary School and has every reason to rejoice: enrolment and retention; and the pass rate have improved, with the school recording a 100 percent pass rate for two consecutive years. Girl child enrolment and retention, in particular, has spectacularly improved.
“Numbers in class were ranging between 10 and 15, most of whom were boys. Even among the few that we had, there was a lot of absenteeism. In 2014, there was only one girl in Grade 8,” Mr. Chabala said. “Today, we have about 45 girls in Grade 9 and the numbers are now exceeding the optimum 50. We are now having challenges with numbers especially at Grade 1 because government policy does not allow us to turn away pupils,” he said. Mr. Chabala notes the exceptional improvement in performance, especially at Grade 7.
“From last year to date, we have recorded a 100 percent pass rate at grade 7. The pass rate at Grade 9 was 79 percent last year and 89.5 percent this year,” he said.
Besides the school, the solar powered water system services the health centre and the community.

Kalilo Ward councillor Geoffrey Singu cites, among other benefits, the fact that availability of clean water has improved access to maternal health services.
“Our mothers who used to shy away from coming to deliver at the clinic are now flocking in. They used to carry water in containers, so others resorted to delivering at home,” Mr. Singu said. KCM Plc’s manager-community Relations Brian Siatubi is proud that the water project is providing water which is able to meet Zambia Bureau of Standards (ZABS) and World Health Organisation (WHO) standards. “Apart from providing clean water to communities, we have also connected to schools and two clinics. We are transforming the whole system of medical care, especially ensuring our mothers feel comfortable to go to hospital,” Mr. Siatubi said. Shimulala Primary School was the pilot for the solar powered water system which has been replicated in other areas of Kalilo. KCM intends to replicate the solution to other operational areas.
“We now look to roll out the Clean water Project as our flagship programme in KCM operational areas,” explained KCM general manager for Corporate affairs, Eugene Chungu.

Shared from:

Check our Zambia branch locations on this link

Visit our website

Introducing Solar Powered Booster pump

Davis & Shirtliff recently introduced a Green Energy powered domestic booster pump aka Dayliff DDPS60 solar pump. This is a simple affordable pump for home use powered by only 2 No. 24volt -250 Watt solar panels. It is a very robust pump capable of delivering water up to a maximum height of 30 metres (equivalent to 9 floors in a storey building) and a maximum capacity of 2,000 litres per hour (approximately 10 drums of water per hour), sufficient for daily domestic use. The pump currently retails at Ksh 16,400 powered by 2No. 250 Watt panels at Ksh 40,000. Other important parameters to note;

· It is a surface pump and should not be immersed or lowered into wells or underground tanks

· It’s designed for pumping clean water without particles

· 1 inch suction and delivery pipe size

· Pump comes with inbuilt temperature and voltage protection

· Maximum fluid temperature should not exceed 40degre Celsius

· Weight of the pump- 5kgs

Know more about this pump on this Davis & Shirtliff website link

Order your pump, call +254711079200/ +254 -020 6968200 or mail