Wednesday, October 19, 2022

Rain hose irrigation in Kenya

Rain hose irrigation in Kenya is one of the most effective and affordable methods for pipe overhead spray.
Water is the most dominant limiting factor to crop production worldwide. To overcome this, a new innovative irrigation technology, rain hose irrigation or rain pipe irrigation has been introduced. It's an affordable surface spraying irrigation technology and is slowly replacing sprinkler irrigation systems. The drain hose is a flexible hose with patterns of drip holes that are made with nano-punching technology to ensure uniform distribution of water. Rain hose irrigation is suitable for closely spaced crops.
The drain hose is made from high-density polyethene. The pipe measures between 50 and 100meters long, has a thickness of 0.35milimeters and a hose diameter of 40milimeters with a smooth inner lining to reduce friction. It operates with a pressure of 1kiligram per square centimetre and a discharge of 1liter per minute per meter. The width of the spray is 5 to 6 meters and the height of 1.5 to 2 meters. The laying length advised is between 25 to 50 meters and the hose has an expected useful life of 4 to 5 years.
Rain hose comes in two types. One, the flat hose wall is perforated at determined intervals using nanotechnology to create tiny holes which deliver water to crops and can be mounted with emitters. Two, the drain hose can be fitted with t-fittings, rigid pipes or flexible pipes to distribute water to the crops. The mounted fittings are most preferred because it's easy to maintain, have adjustable diameters, easy to unclog, shorten the irrigation time and have low pressure and energy are used. 
The irrigation system is supported by several fittings. End caps are placed at the end of the pipes to retain water in the system and allow pressure to develop. The main valve regulates the flow of water from the source while the sub-valves connect the main hose pipe to the main water line. Pressure regulators are also installed within the system to reduce water pressure to the desired level. Pipe connectors link two rain hose pipes. Filters such as pre-filters, sand separators, media filters, screen filters and disc filers are used depending on the size of the emission device and the quality of the water source. 
Rain hoses can be used in both open-field irrigation and greenhouse irrigation. A water pump is installed at the source to increase the pressure of water flow through the hose. The high-density polyethene component used in manufacturing the drain hose is ultraviolet ray resistant, making it flexible and durable. This enables the pipe to handle high water with pressure. Polythene material does not decay nor does it react to chemicals, this assures long useful life. Filters are installed within the system to prevent blockage by sediments and small organisms. Mounted emitters can be removed and cleaned and then installed back into the system. 
When not in use, water is drained off the system, the hose is cleaned and rolled together due to its flexibility then kept in the store for future use. Rain hose come in colours black, blue, red and green.
Benefits of rain hose irrigation
There is an efficient use of water and is equally distributed within the farm
Hose irrigation system can be automated thus reducing the cost of labour
It is affordable, easy to set up and maintain
The flexible nature of the hose allows it to be easily moved from one place to another or even stored for future use. 
Can be used in all types of soil and on different topography of the land
Allows simultaneous distribution of fertilizer 
Helps in colling the plan in hot weather
Soil erosion is easily controlled
Recent research shows that when using a rain hose irrigation system, the total quality and quantity of yield per unit area has tremendously increased compared to the total capital employed. Rain hose uses less energy and water. It can be applied in dry areas and vast parcels of land. 

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