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Baringo launches 10-year spatial plan to address food insecurity

Baringo has launched a 10-year County Spatial Plan (CSP) aimed at achieving, amongst other things, food security and an environmentally sustainable society.

Speaking when he presided over the official launch of the 2020–2030 plan at the governor’s office grounds in Kabarnet town on Wednesday, Governor Benjamin Cheboi said the programme will help a great deal to plan for residents in all seven sub-counties where families are dependent on relief food supplies.

Cheboi noted that in the past, the county, which has a population of close to 700,000, lacked a sustainable strategy to support and empower residents economically.

The county boss said the region has immense agricultural potential, which, if properly tapped, is able to not only feed the nation but beyond.

“The essence of the spatial plan is to guide us on the land spaces we have for keeping our livestock or engaging in crop farming so that we can succeed in it,” he explained.

Cheboi, who also issued a title deed to Kokwa Island Community in Lake Baringo, stated that the plan, which utilises the Geographical Information System (GIS), targets to profile the physiographic and natural resources in order to streamline specific development projects and programmes that will transform the area.

He stated that the county is endowed with scenic hills, forests, and lakes that are God-given; thus, the county administration, in collaboration with other actors, needs to plan on how to utilise them for the benefit of residents.

The governor urged the Department of Lands to establish a coordination committee to oversee the full implementation of the CSP, which he said will play a pivotal role in offering equitable infrastructural development and economic prosperity.

Food and Agricultural Organisation (FAO) representative Michael Gitonga stated in his remarks that Baringo has the capacity to feed itself, therefore there is a need to embrace the strategic plan that will guide the region’s agricultural activities.

He noted that from recent experiences in coffee exports and other food items that do well in the vast county, there is a need to put a keen focus on the agricultural sector, which will also provide nutrition support.

The chairperson for urban development in the County Executive Committee, caucus Raymond Kinyua, lauded Baringo for being among the top ten counties to launch the spatial plan, which is a milestone in proper planning and management of land use.

Kinyua, who is Embu Lands CEC, urged the Baringo Lands Department to break down the details of the plan to residents at the grassroots so that they better understand the importance of the document and provide their input during its implementation.

“Go down to the grassroots and explain to the common mwananchi who have the history of what needs to be done in the county,” he said.

The county Assembly Committee Chairperson for Lands, Eng. David Sitoi, who lauded the plan, which will generate revenue for the county, called upon the governor to streamline the evaluation role, which he said is currently being handled by the finance and lands department and is likely to curtail the process.

Sitoi, at the same time, urged more partners to come on board to support the implementation of the plan, which he said requires huge resources.

By Benson Kelio and Joshua Kibet

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