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Baringo county government signs Sh2.3 billion MOU with WFP to mitigate hunger

Baringo county government has signed a Sh2.3 billion memorandum of understanding (MOU) with World Food Programme (WFP) to mitigate the biting hunger in the area.
WFP country coordinator Annalisa Conte who on Wednesday signed the agreement with governor Stanley Kiptis said the joint collaboration between her organisation and Baringo county government – expected to run for five years – seeks to ensure zero hunger in the region.
Conte said they had mapped and identified 4,500 vulnerable households from 18 wards in the region which require more attention in terms of food aid.
She revealed that the new partnership revolves around five thematic areas including building resilient livelihoods and increasing access to markets by small holder producers and traders, strengthening capacities to prepare for and respond to emergencies as well as implementing provision of school meals, social protection and nutrition among vulnerable populations.
The WFP country coordinator added that the programme was intended to seek a sustainable solution of ensuring that the vast county gets to a point where local residents become resilient.
“Our successes will be achieved when our services will be no longer needed in Baringo or other arid and semi arid lands (ASAL) counties,” said Conte.
Conte also stated that the collaboration seeks to empower the locals through imparting knowledge, skills and best practices as well as developing policies, strategies and guidelines that are gender responsive for food security and nutrition programmes.
Governor Kiptis in his remarks lauded the initiative saying it will go a long way in combating the natural calamity that has for decades become an enduring problem to locals in some parts of the county.
He identified parts of Tiaty, lower parts of Baringo North, Baringo South and Mogotio Sub Counties as areas worst hit by drought and hunger related incidences.
The county boss added that the identified areas will also benefit from monthly cash transfer of Sh5, 000 in order to help needy households become food secure.
Mr. Kiptis said the partnership had come at a time when more resources need to be pumped into disaster preparedness and response kitty for a sustainable response.
At the same time he urged the national government to speed up the release of equalization funds allocated to the county governments amounting to Sh670 million which he says will help mitigate such calamities.
Deputy Governor Jacob Chepkwony who accompanied his boss, reiterated that the programme will cut across education, health, agriculture, water and infrastructure sectors so that it improves livelihoods of the people from the areas prone to vagaries of weather.
Chepkwony said residents living in dry areas require to be supported just like any other people because it was their constitutional right to enjoy and lead better lives.
Deputy Speaker Ameja Zelemoi asked the organisation to carry out regular mapping of vulnerable areas in order to get a true picture of affected population.
He argued that had the assessment been done during the dry season the number of families in need of serious assistance would have risen to 30,000 from 4,500.
By Benson Kelio/Joshua Kibet

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