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Kenya signs water pact with Israel

NAIROBI, Kenya, Sep 4 – Kenya has signed an agreement on water resource management, irrigation and capacity building with the Israeli Government.

President Mwai Kibaki said the agreement would provide an opportunity for Kenyans to access technical expertise in irrigation and rain water harvesting.

"The technical support in irrigation and rain water harvesting will go a long way towards ensuring that we have sufficient water for all our needs and boost our agricultural production," President Kibaki said during a meeting with visiting Israeli Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Foreign Affairs Avigdor Liberman.

The President emphasised that the government was focusing on irrigation as a long term solution to boosting agricultural production and reduce reliance on rain-fed agriculture.

The Head of State briefed the Israeli Deputy Prime Minister on the food situation in the country and the various interventions the government is undertaking to cushion Kenyans from the effects of the ongoing drought.

President Kibaki also thanked the Israeli government for agreeing to construct and equip an emergency wing at Kisumu Provincial Hospital, saying the move will complement the government’s ongoing efforts to provide affordable healthcare to Kenyans.

Noting that Kenya and Israel have over the years enjoyed a strong and fruitful relationship based on mutual friendship, the President expressed optimism that the ongoing Israeli support in water and health sectors will further strengthen the bilateral cooperation between the two countries.

On the energy sector, President Kibaki said the two countries could work together to diversify sources of energy to step up Kenya’s electricity generation capacity.

The Israeli Deputy Prime Minister assured President Kibaki that Israel would continue supporting Kenya in various areas of socio-economic development.

Mr Liberman said already his government had donated farming kits to Kenya to help in improving agricultural production. The kits are due to be launched in Dagoretti on Sunday.

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The Israeli Deputy PM also pledged that his government would continue providing training to Kenyans especially in agriculture, security and water technology.

Present during the meeting were Foreign Affairs Minister Moses Wetangula, Internal Security Minister George Saitoti and his Defence counterpart Yusuf Hajji, Special Programmes Assistant Minister Mohamed Muhamud Ali and the Head of Public Service and Secretary to the Cabinet Francis Muthaura.


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