Kirinyaga Governor Anne Waiguru has initiated a groundbreaking program aimed at restoring the county's degraded land.
The Sustainable Land Management program, which involves a comprehensive satellite soil scanning exercise, has identified critical land degradation hotspots in the county, paving the way for targeted reclamation efforts.
The first phase of the initiative focuses on preventing and mitigating land degradation while restoring degraded soils in selected villages in Ndia Constituency.
Waiguru emphasized the pivotal role of sustainable land management in optimizing agricultural production and productivity, recognizing land as the foremost capital investment in agriculture.
The Department of Agriculture has rolled out various interventions in identified villages, including the excavation of retention ditches and the construction of terraces to combat soil erosion in steep areas prone to devastating runoff during heavy rainfall.
John Gachara, the County Executive Committee (CEC) Member for Agriculture, highlighted the significance of these measures in preventing soil erosion and maximizing soil utilization.
Additionally, the department has undertaken the propagation of high-value trees such as avocado, macadamia, and coffee seedlings at the Kamweti Farmers Training Center to support the sustainable land management project.
Furthermore, the initiative has provided employment opportunities for local residents, who have expressed gratitude for the positive impact of the project.
Residents in affected areas have already witnessed the benefits of the land reclamation efforts, particularly during the ongoing heavy rains, as the terraces and ditches effectively mitigate runoff water, safeguarding crops and structures from potential damage.
Millicent Wanjiru, a resident of Kianjege, acknowledged Governor Waiguru's timely intervention, recognizing the project's role in protecting their crops and structures from destructive runoff.
"Whenever it rained heavily in this area, we used to witness destruction by run-off water, sometimes destroying structures and crops, but we are happy that the terraces are now arresting high pressure of water flowing downhill," Wanjiru stated.
Similarly, Belton Nderi from Ngu-Nyumu praised the project as a long-awaited solution to soil erosion, underscoring the effectiveness of the terraces and ditches in addressing a longstanding challenge faced by the community.