Use modern technology to achieve Kenya’s ambitious irrigation goals

February 23, 2023 0
The Government of Kenya ambitious plan to revive the Galana Kulalu Irrigation Scheme is a crucial step forward in boosting crop production and food security in the country. The irrigation scheme that aims to bring over one million acres under irrigation, now has a new lease on life. To ensure its success this time round, it is essential that modern technology is used in the distribution of water meant for irrigation.

It is also worth noting that the project’s revival appreciates that a key ingredient to ending the country’s food challenges is the use of irrigation, a deviation from overreliance on rain-fed agriculture. For Galana Kulalu to work we can borrow a leaf from similar massive projects that have used modern technology to put up the necessary infrastructure for distributing irrigation water.

One model for this is the Imperial Irrigation District in Southern California, one of the largest and most efficient irrigation districts in the US. This district serves around 350,000 acres of farmland and over 1.5 million people, using state-of-the-art technology to optimise irrigation water distribution.

One such technology used in the Imperial Irrigation District that can be adopted in the Galana Kulalu scheme is the use of Weholite HDPE pipes. These pipes were used in a section of the Imperial Irrigation District's canals and enabled a timely rollout, avoiding disruptions from the rainy season.

This is critical because extreme weather patterns can interrupt the timely rollout of projects. Another project, the Tumalo Irrigation District is an irrigation district located in Central Oregon, United States, used Weholite pipes as a substitute for open canals since the former could be buried and they were therefore safer than open canals. Additionally, closed pipes reduce loss of scarce water resources through evaporation.

Weholite pipes are also highly durable and resistant to corrosion, abrasion, and impact, making them well-suited for use in irrigation systems. They are also lightweight, easy to transport, and resistant to chemicals and UV radiation, which can be beneficial in harsh environments such as Galana Kulalu.

Furthermore, Weholite pipes are leak-free and have a smooth inner surface that reduces friction and helps to increase the flow rate of water, which is vital in irrigation schemes that must deliver water to large areas. Moreover, Weholite technology has a service life that exceeds 100 years, providing long-term value to taxpayers.

As the world continues to grapple with the effects of climate change, including extreme weather patterns, it is imperative that infrastructure projects such as the Galana Kulalu Irrigation Scheme are executed quickly and efficiently. By incorporating modern technology such as Weholite HDPE pipes, the scheme can not only achieve its goals but also provide a sustainable solution for the long-term.
Simon Thomas
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