Using Farm Ponds for Irrigation
As the effects of drought continue stifling crop and livestock production across Kenya, some farmers in the worse affected areas have managed to beat this scourge. Having adopted small-scale dryland farming technologies, these farmers are able to continue feeding their families with produce from their farms.
Christine Nthenya Mutua is not fazed by the current drought. While many of her neighbours wait for relief assistance, she still has grain to sell, a cow that gives her some milk, and a bull that brings income from ploughing land.
Christine lives in Kithuki village in Makueni County, a marginal agricultural county that has not been spared by the drought. Most farmers rely on rain-fed agriculture while keeping a few animals.
Christine and her husband Bernard Mutua Nguku are among about 200 farmers in Makueni County who have adopted the use of farm ponds for crop irrigation. This water harvesting technology has proved to be climate resilient.
“Before we dug the farm pond, we used to struggle like everyone else. It was difficult putting food on the table let alone meeting other family needs,” said Christine. “Getting a decent harvest was a matter of luck.”