An Assessment of Socio-Economic Benefits Accrued by Farmers in Donor Funded Community Development Projects in Kibwezi Irrigation Project, Kenya

Mumo Mueke, T. Maitho J. K. Mbwesa


The Kibwezi Irrigation Project, just like the Gezira Irrigation Scheme of Sudan was started with the aim of developing and transferring dry land farming technologies to the local farmers and like the Israel Kibbutz, reclaim dry land areas and eventually improve the standards of living of the populations living in such areas. This study sought to establish if there was actual transfer of farming technologies from the project to the local framers and if the locals were able to derive any socio-economic benefits from the project. Furthermore, the study  examined if the effects of the project caused an improvement of the standards of living of the local farmers and if the KIP trainees were able to train other local farmers through peer consultation. The study adopted a cross-sectional survey design, choosing 56 farmers as the sample frame out of a target population of 531 KIP trained farmers. Cluster sampling design was used in selecting the sample frame and data was collected using open and closed ended questionnaires and interviews. The collected data was analysed using Statistical Package for Social Sciences in order to generate tables, frequencies and percentages. From the findings it was established that apart from electricity supply, KIP had  a strong influence on many socio-economic benefits, namely influencing efficiency on utilization of water in the region, improving on literacy levels in the region and  in creating employment opportunities in the region. Majority of the farmers have experienced a rise in economic status after attending the KIP Trainings while a significant number affirmed to no longer depending on relief food. It was also evident that the Project has been able to introduce sustainable growth in the region thus proving wrong the critics of the Aid Industry that have argued that donor aids breeds dependency syndrome and consequently  poverty and is therefore not conducive to long-term sustainable growth in African. Majority of the farmers affirmed that KIP brought with it indirect gains like increased employment opportunities; business growth and reduced crime rate in the region. The Kibwezi Irrigation Project, and in particular, the extension part of the project is today a shining example in that, it has been able to sustain its services after the withdrawal of the donor support.

Keywords: Socio –Economic Benefits, Kibwezi, Irrigation ,Farmer

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ISSN (Paper)2224-5766 ISSN (Online)2225-0484

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