NAIROBI, Kenya, Mar 15 – The United Nation’s Food Agriculture Organisation (FAO) has signed a Technical Cooperation Programme (TCP) agreement with the Kenyan government to facilitate provision of animal feeds worth U$1 million to drought-affected pastoral and agro-pastoral households in Marsabit, Isiolo and Kwale county.
The agreement which was signed Wednesday at the Ministry of Agriculture, Livestock and Fisheries by FAO Country Representative Gabriel Rugalema and Cabinet Secretary Willy Bett follows the CS’s visit to the organization’s headquarters in Rome late February, during which the Director General José Graziano da Silva pledged the money for drought mitigation.
According to Rugalema, $500,000 has already been provided to support approximately 2,000 agro-pastoralist households with the remaining amount expected to be dispensed in subsequent months.
FAO will through the programme deliver 294.2 metric tons of animal feed and 196 metric tons of high-fibre ranch cubes to 545 smallholder pastoralist and agro-pastoralist households affected by drought.
Rugalema commended the government for, “providing leadership in ensuring the response to drought was mounted early enough” adding that the organizations was proud to partner with the government to mitigate the effects of famine.
According to CS Bett, the project will see 30 community water tanks installed in the counties of Isiolo and Marsabit in order to improve water access for up to 10,000 breeding stock.
Further, the programme will supplement a $263 million plan set aside by the government to respond to humanitarian needs in drought affect areas.
“Pastoralists will benefit from emergency distribution of hay and high fibre ranch cubes to feed up to a total of 65,450 animal breeding stock for two months until pasture are fully regenerated in June,” the CS said.
Other measures taken by the government to curb loss of livestock as a result of diminishing forage include enhanced livestock off-take through which the government rolled out insurance payouts of up to Sh215 million to 12,064 pastoral households in February.
The livestock off-take which is being implemented by the ministry through a consortium of seven local insurance companies with the support of a Zurich-based insurer, Swiss Re has since seen vulnerable pastoralists in Mandera, Marsabit, Isiolo, Tana River, Turkana and Wajir county receive payments ranging from Sh1,450 to Sh29,400 per household.