, NAIROBI, Kenya, Dec 16 – Kenya Commercial Bank (KCB) Foundation and US-African Development Foundation (USADF) on Monday signed a partnership to oversee the setting up of a project to boost food sustainability in Turkana County.
Chairperson of the KCB Foundation Catherine Kola explained that the Lokwaliwa Youth Group Project will provide a proxy source of food and income for area residents who are highly dependent on donors.
“The partnership will go a long way in supporting the youth groups and women in the area acquire alternative income generating projects to support their families and the community at large.”
“We have purchased five acres of land as we gear towards changing the face and the perception of the Turkana region as not only a pastoralist community but also as an agriculturally rich region.”
“There is a great need to empower communities so that we can break the cycle of dependence that is common amongst our people,” Kola explained.
USADF Regional Representative Timothy Nzioka told journalists in Nairobi that money set aside will fund new infrastructure necessary to ensure food security for the residents.
Nzioka added that the new technologies for the project will adequately use the water source to enable the area produce high value crops rather than the staple food which is readily available.
“In Turkana we have dedicated a total of $10 million over a period of five years but most of our support is geared towards crop production through irrigation but the kind of technology was being was very inefficient,” explained Nzioka.
He announced, “this is a commendable initiative that will see that every shilling that is contributed by the KCB Foundation matched by Sh13 by USADF.”
He said that the new project will encompass the set up of a drip irrigation system for the purpose of fruit production.
During the partnership, it was noted that River Turkwell in the County has been hardly utilised to support food sustainability programmes due to the lack of skills and poverty.
“Majority of the residents are too poor to spend their little income on the capital intensive irrigation systems to tap from River Turkwell,” noted the KCB Foundation Chief.
Two years ago a drought in the North Eastern part of the country affecting 3.5 million people was termed the worst to hit the country in 60 years.