Pastoral and agro-pastoral communities in four sub counties of Baringo County are set to benefit from Ksh 655 million scheme by European Union (EU) to promote secure and sustainable sources of income.
Announcing the support project Thursday, during the official launch of the programme dubbed “Baringo Resilience Initiative: Nurturing Greater Opportunity “at the Kenya School of Government (KSG), Baringo campus, EU ambassador to Kenya, Simon Mordue said that the four-year development project targets to improve access for 60,000 agro-pastoralists to agricultural extension services and diversified farming systems to mitigate effects of climate change.
Mordue added that the programme will impact knowledge to the communities and embrace technological farming systems that will ensure improved quality and quantity of their products for value addition.
“We are taking action of supporting Baringo because we believe that the region has profound economic impact that will improve the lives of its people,” he said.
The ambassador stated that the European Union is committed to ending drought emergencies in the Horn of Africa especially in Kenya where the Union is contributing up to 59 million euros.
“Droughts should not lead to famine and other disasters. This is why the EU is taking action by supporting Kenya,” Ambassador Mordue disclosed.
Cabinet Secretary for Devolution and ASAL’s Eugene Wamalwa who graced the occasion lauded resilience project saying that the ambitious programme to be implemented by four NGOs is in line with the national government Big Four Agenda on food security and nutrition.
The CS noted that the project will have a huge impact since it will enable benefiting communities exploit the potential of their arid and semi-arid lands and thus improve livelihoods through increased food production and business growth.
“Over the years, counties like Baringo have been faced with natural calamities such as drought, floods and landslides, thus this programme will improve in resilience building,” he said.
The CS added that the project will enhance mechanisms of collaboration towards drought response and foster peace building amongst communities that use shared resources sustainably.
“We must embrace innovation and modernize our project interventions to attain food and nutrition security, and tackle climate change which calls for continuous improvement to make sure they remain focused on global and national goals,” Wamalwa stressed.
Governor Stanley Kiptis while thanking the donors for the generous support expressed optimism that through the project the livelihoods of the people will be transformed in an area where most of the locals are agriculturalist and livestock keepers.
He said that the project will enable the county to move from relief oriented approach to resilience and ensure that challenges of drought and hunger are totally eradicated because residents will have the capacity to feed themselves.
Self Help Africa CEO Ray Jordan said that the new project in Baringo would adopt a range of climatic smart approaches that will achieve food and nutrition security while reducing poverty levels in a region where households are challenged in producing enough food for their families.
Other organizations that will be involved in the implementation of the project include Self Help Africa (SHA), Farming Systems Kenya (FSK) and Sustainable Agricultural Initiative Network (SAII) in close collaboration with the county government of Baringo and National government Agency, (NDMA).
The event was also attended by Devolution Chief Administrative Secretary (CAS) Abdul Bahari, Principal secretaries Harry Kimtai (Livestock and Fisheries), Micah Powon (ASAL), Charles Sunkuli (Devolution), SHA country director Ben Boxer and the Baringo county commissioner Henry Wafula.