Surface runoff harvesting in promotion of horticultural potentials in Kenyan ASALs

J.M. Kiragu, W. Chiuri, V. Ngure
Arid and semi-arid lands (ASALs) are defined by harsh climatic conditions including drought and famine. In spite of the unfavourable conditions within the ASALs, they exhibit fertile lands, a variety of minerals, and renewable energy among others. In addition, most development projects including road constructions are being shifted to the ASALs to open up the areas for utilization of the vast available resources. Several studies carried out on the horticultural potential within the ASALs in Kenya have not considered the potential of rehabilitated borrow pits on surface runoff harvesting as having potential to store water. The scenario will favour the horticultural enthusiasts to exploit the fertile ASALs land and fast growth rate crops. Data collection for the study entailed, literature review, survey tools, Cooks method for surface runoff determination and finally geographical information positioning of borrow pits. The study found out that over 55.5% respondents used borrow pits collected water while irrigation use accounted for 1%. This notwithstanding, irrigation was done from three out of nine borrow pits collecting water. Fast growing crop plants such as tomatoes and water melons were being irrigated. The existing borrow pits if properly harnessed were found to have capacity of over 1.2 million m3. This is substantial water which can revitalize the ASAL potentials of the study area. Irrigation of food crops with borrow pit collected water will not only contribute to food security, but improvement of nutritional levels of the recipient communities as well as generate incomes for the participants in these commodity value chains.
Kiragu, J.M., Chiuri, W. and Ngure, V. (2022). Surface runoff harvesting in promotion of horticultural potentials in Kenyan ASALs. Acta Hortic. 1348, 179-184
DOI: 10.17660/ActaHortic.2022.1348.24
borrow pits, surface runoff, rehabilitation

Acta Horticulturae