DP meets outgoing Israel ambassador to Kenya

By DPPS

The Israeli government will set up a training centre in Galana at the Coast to help train local farmers and agricultural experts as the Government begins to roll out the one million acre irrigation project.

Outgoing Israel ambassador to Kenya Gil Haskel says Israel and Kenya have signed a memorandum of understanding to establish the centre that is aimed at building local capacity to manage the ambitious irrigation project and ensure it is sustainable.

‘The idea is to build local capacity and ensure local farmers and business men acquire the necessary skills to keep the project running’, Mr. Haskel said when he met Deputy President William Ruto at his official residence in Karen.

Under the irrigation scheme a model 10,000 acre piece of land is already being established before it is expanded to 100,000 acres in the next one year and ultimately 1 million acres in the next five years.

Mr. Ruto said the irrigation project was on course and urged the Israeli government to continue supporting the scheme. ‘The irrigation project is at the heart of our food security strategy and we hope the government of Israel will continue to help us implement this project’, said the deputy president.

Experts from Israel are currently undertaking design work at the Galana/Kulalu irrigation project that is set to establish an agro-industry enterprise comprising production of cereals, sugar cane, livestock farming and horticulture.

‘We are keen to unpack this project but we will rely on Israel’s expertise to achieve our object’, the deputy president told the out-going ambassador.

The two also discussed insecurity challenges facing the two countries as they battle terrorism.

Mr. Haskel told the deputy president that Israel was currently battling Hamas Islamists who had launched attacks against her. ‘We are in a similar situation as you fight Al-Shabaab’, he said.

Mr. Hakel said Israel will continue to support Kenya in the war against terror saying terrorism was a global menace that required joint efforts. ‘The world must realize that there is one network of terror, whether is Al- Qaeda, Al-Shabaab or Hamas. What happened at Westgate here in Kenya can happen anywhere and we must join hands to fight the war’, said Mr Hekel.

Mr. Ruto said Kenya was relentless in the fight against Al-Shabaab saying Kenyans troops pursuing the terror group inside Somalia will not be withdrawn until the terror threat is completely eliminated.

‘We will not lay down arms until Al-Shabaab is neutralized. That is the only way to ensure Kenya is safe for everybody including investors and tourists,” said the Deputy President.

The outgoing ambassador announced that Israel will deploy a consultant to help Kenya’s security agencies in managing terror related disasters such as the Westgate Mall attack early this year.