By Suleiman Hassan.
Residents of Mandera County and the Country at large will soon reap more benefits from river Dawa in Mandera if an initiative by IGAD becomes successful.
Representatives from Ethiopia, Kenya and Somalia converged at a Nairobi hotel for a consultative meeting organized by IGAD to discuss cooperation in the management and sustainable use of the Dawa basin to the benefit of the three countries.
The Dawa river is a perennial river in Southeastern Ethiopia. Rising in the mountains east of Aleta Wendo, the Dawa flows south and east to join with the Ganale Dorya at the border with Somalia to become the Jubba. It forms part of the Ethiopia–Kenya border and part of the Ethiopia–Somalia border.
The Kenyan delegation led by Mandera Governor Ali Roba proposed the construction of a multi-purpose dam, a bridge to link Kenya and Ethiopia and a hydro power station.
Currently farmers in Mandera County are taking up irrigated farming along the river producing tonnes of tomatoes, green pepper, onions and maize.
The produce is not only consumed locally but is also transported to the rest of the country.
A survey by Nepjournal in Mandera town found out that local communities erstwhile vulnerable to droughts because of their nomadic lifestyle are now embracing farming giving them access to sustainable sources of food and income.