The National Counter Terrorism Centre (NCTC) has partnered with various regional development authorities in the country to build resilience among communities with a view to countering terrorism and violent extremism.
NCTC Director Njenga Miiri said in Kilifi County Wednesday that various youth and women groups in piloted counties would be supplied with assorted working tools to enable them carry out businesses and enterprises.
He said the programme was being implemented through funding from the European Union and was aimed at discouraging beneficiary groups from joining criminal formations, including terrorist groups.
Speaking in Malindi town, where he presented certificates and assorted working tools to 29 youth and women groups from Malindi and Magarini Sub Counties, Miiri said there was a relationship between the security of the country and food security.
He said a similar programme was being piloted in Baringo, Kisumu, Isiolo and Busia counties through regional development authorities and would be spread across the country depending on its success in the selected areas.
In Kilifi, NCTC has partnered with the Coast Development Authority (CDA), which identified the groups and facilitated training in business and entrepreneurship, before the groups received tents and plastic chairs for hire, water pumps and pipes for irrigation as well as accessories for motorcycles for groups in the bodaboda business among others.
“We do not want to see a situation in which people are so pressed by poverty that they become a threat to the country’s security because many people, due to lack, find themselves engaging in anti-social activities,” the Director said.
Miiri said he hoped the groups that had benefitted from the donations would be lifted economically and become ambassadors of peace in their respective areas for peace to prevail, adding that food security and national security are related.
Coast Development Authority Managing Director Mohamed Keinan Hassan said the regional authority had written business proposals for the groups and that each of them would get what they asked for.
“We wrote proposals for 30 groups which we identified as most vulnerable after noticing that food insecurity was correlated with national security. When we support livelihoods, we will be able to tackle insecurity issues in society,” he said.
The function was also attended by Malindi Deputy County Commissioner Thuo wa Ngugi and members of the Sub County Security team.
By Emmanuel Masha