Application of Geographic Information Systems in irrigation development case study lower kuja irrigation development project, Nyatike district, Kenya

Assessing available land and water resources for irrigation is important for planning their use. The study area, Lower Kuja, Nyatike District like most parts of Kenya lacks soil information at sufficient detail for proper land use planning. The study involved quantitative investigations of soil properties, inventory of land use systems and an assessment of the potential of the study area for paddy rice cultivation land use requirements. This study was conducted to estimate paddy rice irrigation potential in Lower Kuja using the GIS technique. Slope has been considered as one of the elevation parameters in irrigation suitability analysiS. Based on the relative suitability slope classes, the suitability of the study area for the development of the Paddy irrigation was established. This slope map is the basic map for all other land evaluation due to its being the critical limiting factor for irrigation implementation even if other evaluation parameters namely water availability, land cover, suitable soil and agro-climatic conditions are suitable. The identified potential areas for paddy irrigation can assist in policy decisions. Moreover the GIS data outputs generated in this research work can assist both local and regional planners to facilitate preliminary surveys and prepare irrigation projects in the study area.

Key words: Irrigation, GIS, Slope