Residents of the arid Kanyuari village in Mbeere, who have been experiencing severe droughts over the years, were Thursday relieved following the commissioning of the Sh16.7 million Kithiru-Kiruire earth dam by the government.
The dam, meant to alleviate drought, will benefit 2,500 residents who have been undergoing untold suffering during dry periods.
The project, officially commissioned by the chairman of the National Drought Management Authority, Mr Raphael Nzomo, during a ceremony at Evurore ward, attracted high-ranking government officials from Nairobi and the area.
The dam was funded by the European Union, the national government, Embu County and the local community.
Mr Nzomo stressed that the dam is a drought preparedness project and called on the beneficiaries to make maximum use of it to uplift their living standards.
He also noted that 20,000 domestic animals belonging to the community, which have been dying during drought periods, will benefit from the project.
He said the government was committed to alleviating drought across the country.
Embu Deputy Governor David Kariuki praised the government for its speedy implementation of the project.
"We are happy for this kind of development and I'm urging the government to come up with many more such dams in the region especially in areas where water is scarce," he said.
The residents, who have been trekking for more than 20 kilometres in search of water for their domestic use, narrated how they starved when crops failed and their animals perished due to drought.
"We shall now be able to grow crops and water our animals when the dry spell sets in," Dorothy Igoki, a resident, said.
The dam holds 50,000 cubic metres of water, estimated to be sufficient for the targeted beneficiaries.