Saturday, May 18, 2024
Home > Agriculture > FAO project to support 1,000 drought-stricken households

FAO project to support 1,000 drought-stricken households

At least 1,000 households affected by drought in Makueni County will benefit from the Emergency Drought Intervention Project-Livelihood Support to Vulnerable Communities in Kenya being spearheaded by the Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO).

The project, which will run for one year starting in July 2023, will provide interventions in livestock feed and health, agro-pastoral and social behaviour change, and nutrition.

Under livestock feed and health, 500 households are targeted to receive range pellets, where each household will get 5 bags of 50 kg besides having their animals dewormed and vaccinated during the period under review.

“A total of 2,500 bags of 50 kg of pellets will be issued to the households. The animals will be dewormed and vaccinated since the livestock tend to have a high load of worms after a prolonged drought,” said FAO Cluster Liaison Officer Mr. James Opiyo during a Special County Steering Group (CSG) meeting co-chaired by Governor Mutula Kilonzo Junior and Makueni County Commissioner (CC) Kaburu Kaimba in a hotel in Wote on Tuesday.

Also, Opiyo said that under the agro-pastoral intervention, 500 households would receive a package of agricultural inputs like fertiliser and seeds for sorghum, maize, green grammes, and beans, besides getting assorted vegetables like spinach, collards, and black night shed.

“We shall give farmers fertiliser of 25 kgs (23:23:0) for cereals and foliar (liquid fertiliser) of 100 ml for kitchen garden establishment, besides helping them in land preparation using smart agriculture-ripping (cutting only where seed is planted to help in harvesting water),” said the Liaison Officer.

On  social behaviour change and nutrition, 500 households will be treated for malnutrition besides receiving training on issues to do with kitchen garden equipment to avert them from falling back to their former state.

Some of the needy and vulnerable beneficiaries will come from Mtito Andei, Kikumbulyo South and North, Masongaleni, Ivingoni/Nzambani, Thange, and parts of Kimakiu wards in the county.

Opiyo disclosed that 1,000 households will also receive an unconditional cash transfer of Sh15,000 as the first tranche in October and a similar amount in December 2023 to cushion them from the effects of the drought.

He disclosed that the programme has been funded by the Norwegian government to the tune of 1.5 million dollars, and the assistance will go to five counties in the country.

Opiyo added that the assistance follows the findings done in March under the Short Rains Assessment, where 157,000 households were found to be food insecure.

Other counties benefiting from the programme are Kitui, Mandera, Wajir, and West Pokot.

It should be noted that FAO will work closely with the National Drought Management Authority (NDMA), which is coordinating, and the Agriculture, Livestock, and Health departments that will implement the programme on the ground.

On his part, Kaimba lauded FAO and NDMA for their assistance to the stressed community, saying this would go a long way in alleviating their suffering.

“This assistance will go a long way in alleviating the communities suffering and helping build resilience,” said Kaimba.

On subsidised fertiliser, the administrator reminded Wananchi that the fertiliser is in all national cereal Produce boards (NCPB) and urged them to go and collect it in an effort to plant crops to increase food production.

“I urge members of the public to take advantage of the subsidised fertiliser in our NCPB and plant crops early and increase crop production, thereby improving food security in the county,” he said.

Speaking in the same meeting, Governor Mutula said that the distribution of either farm inputs or social behaviour change interventions should be diversified among different beneficiaries.

On her part, Makueni County NDMA Coordinator Alice Mwongeli Munyao said that the worst-hit sub-counties by the prolonged drought were Kibwezi East, Kibwezi West, some parts of Makueni, and Mbooni, respectively.

She observed that the county is currently in an alert state and is heading for a worsening state following the prolonged drought that hit the area.

By Patrick Nyakundi

Leave a Reply