Bura Irrigation Project is located on the West bank of Tana River, Tana River County. It is being implemented in Bura Irrigation and Settlement Scheme. The Scheme has a gazette area of 12,000 acres. Currently, about 3,500 acres are under production with maize being the main crop. The objective of the project is to convert the scheme from pumped system to gravity fed system so as to improve its sustainability. The ultimate goal is to develop sustainable crop production via gravity fed irrigation system and as a result enhance food and nutrition security thereby improving the livelihoods of the Tana River residents and Kenya at large.

Bura Irrigation and Settlement Scheme has been operating under a pump fed system since its establishment. This system is characterized by many drawbacks such as high cost of pumping which increases the rates of Operation and Maintenance costs for the farmers. The system is also prone to breakdowns which normally affects the cropping patterns of the scheme. In addition, the system is also prone to risks and uncertainties. It also pauses expansion challenges due to inadequate water supply since pumping is quite expensive. In regard to the above, this project was proposed to cub these challenges. A gravity fed system has been successfully implemented in other schemes such as Mwea Irrigation Scheme. It has reduced the cost of pumping and as a result it has led to higher income levels for the farmers.

The Government of Kenya (GoK) is financing 70% of the project cost while 30% is financed by Arab partners comprising of Kuwait Fund for International Development, Arab Bank for Economic Development in Africa (BADEA) and OPEC Fund for International Development (OFID).

Scope of the Project

The scheme design is based on water conveyance by gravity with surface irrigation method being applied in order to reduce costs besides being easy to use. The project will be implemented in three phases. The scope of the project consists of; sheet piling and associated Korakora Intake works, completion of new main canal, its hydraulic structures and associated civil works and finally Rehabilitation of existing irrigation infrastructures.