The European Union (EU) has pumped 4.5 million Euros in the four year “Ustahimilivu” project consortium project that aims to support resilience for sustainable livelihoods through the community conservancy model and restore drought resilience for sustainable livelihoods through the community conservancy model and restore drought resilience in eleven wards of lowlands in West Pokot County.
The Ustahimilivu consortium led by Northern Rangelands Trust [NRT] has partnered with European Committee for Training and Agriculture [ CEFA], Social Ministry Research Network [SOMIRENEC], African Medical and Research Foundation AMREF and E41 organizations are implementing the project to change the lives of many residents in West Pokot County.
The project which was supposed to be launched in 2019 but affected by Covid -19 pandemic started being implemented last year.
European Union Programs Manager Mr. Titus Katembu said the project will help to promote enhanced climate resilience ,economic development and prosperity as well as improved stability ,peace ,conflict prevention and security in the fragile and challenging region of the lowlands of the county.
“The project will create linkages, improve health, nutrition to generate sustainable livelihoods and protect productive assets in the county,”he said.
He said that the project will ensure better cross-sector synergies and complementarily, strengthen National Drought Management Authority[NDMA] and county level administration capacities in building drought resilience, food and nutrition security and ensure livelihoods for vulnerable and at risk households.
“We want to strengthen the devolved systems on implementation of policies and strategies as well as influencing policy and strategy changes for improved resilience building and drought risk management, including in the face of climate change impacts and other climate risks,”he said.
Speaking while vaccinating goats against Contagious Bovine Pleuropneumonia [CBPP] disease to curb the spread of the disease and improve animal health, Mr. Katembu noted that the program will help tackle the effects of drought.
“Without supporting resilience building in the country there will be a problem. There will be a lot of challenges with people hit hard by drought and climate change,”he said.
Mr Katembu said that the project will help sustain the Nasukuta abattoir which is in its final stages in the county.
He said that the project will support irrigation and nutrition which is ranked high in the County in stunting.
USTAHIMILIVU project Director Ms Rebecca Chebet noted that the project will enhance food and nutrition security of vulnerable households, especially for women and children in the county.
“The areas will be able to withstand the climate change. We shall promote agriculture and conduct training on Agriculture, Capacity building to improve food production and building on cooperatives. We shall improve Artificial insemination [AI] services among pastoralists in the region,”she said.
Mr. Katembu who also handed over the site for the irrigation project of 40 acres to help 200 farmers at Parasany area said the area has a challenge of lack of water.
She said that they target to conduct vaccination of goats against CBPP in two wards Endough and Kasei and while hay will be planted in Masol ward.
West Pokot County Executive member for Agriculture and Pastoral economy Mr. Geoffrey Lipale confirmed that there was an outbreak of CPBP disease in the lower Turkwel region that prompted them to do vaccination.
He said that the project has given them 40, 000 doses of CBPP.
“The farmers of Sekerr and lower Kasei will benefit,”he said.
He pointed out that the County normally loses 30% of its goats to diseases .
“This is a serious thing .We need to improve the economy,”he said.
Mr. Lipale said that they aim to vaccinate 1.2 million goats among the 2.3 goats in the county.
A resident, Ms Aisha Naitangole,lauded the European Union for the vaccination and irrigation projects.
Orwa Sub Location Assistant chief Mr. Daniel Lous said that the project will help in addressing hunger in the region.
The project is also being implemented in Baringo, Tana River and Isiolo Counties which are faced with the same challenges.
The cost of the project in the four counties is 18 million Euros in Asal areas .