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multi-million farming project for pastoralists commissioned

Principal Secretary for Arid and Semi-Arid Lands (ASALs) and Regional Development Idris Dokota has commissioned the Garsen Integrated Livelihood Project in Tana Delta Sub-County.

The Sh21.9 million project was funded by European Union and implemented by the National Drought Management Authority (NDMA) in the Danisa location.

The project beneficiaries are the pastoralists’ community who will now have an alternative source of income. NDMA spent Sh15million on land preparation, provision of seeds and seedlings, and irrigation infrastructure that includes 20 water pumps and 300 pipes.

The Pastoralists are also diversifying their livelihoods through pasture production and beekeeping. NDMA has augmented the pastoralist efforts through the provision of 376 beehives and other accessories.

Dokota lauded the County Government of Tana River for availing tractors for opening up the land and providing the technical expertise in the project.

“The fruits of this partnership are very evident in the lush crop I have seen on the farm. I believe this project will go a long way towards addressing food insecurity in Danisa location,’’ said PS

He said, “I have seen the challenge you are facing with pests. We recognize your hard work and determination to be food sufficient. The NDMA CEO has already approved procurement of the required pesticides and fungicides and you should receive them soon.”

PS Dokota further revealed that NDMA has spent Sh38.7 million in this financial year on various drought preparedness and response interventions in Tana River.

Apart from the Garsen Integrated Livelihood Project, PS Dokota says, NDMA has also provided livestock feed supplements, water storage tanks, and water trucking as part of the drought response.

“Other interventions include establishment and rehabilitation of water infrastructures such as the recent desilting of Bulto Abarufa and Wayo Boru water pans in Wayu Location,’’ said the PS.

Danisa location residents who lost hundreds of livestock to the ravaging drought extolled NDMA for the project saying they have embraced farming since they realized it has higher returns.

“We are elated as residents of Danisa, it is our first time to try our hands at farming. We are appealing to the EU and NDMA to increase the farm size to 500 acres from the current 100 acres so that we can farm in abundance,’’ said Salim Ababiya, Chairman of the project.

The PS was accompanied by NDMA CEO Colonel (Rtd) Hared Hassan.

By Sadik Hassan

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