The United States of America ambassador to Kenya Kyle McCarter and his wife toured US funded projects in West Pokot County on Monday.
As Kenya partners with the US, the County government has benefited with a number of projects that are meant to empower women and alleviate them from poverty level.
The US ambassador accompanied with his wife Mrs Victoria McCarter and West Pokot Governor John Lonyangapuo visited Ewan Kiror women group in Kabichbich, Pokot South constituency where the US established a green house project in 2018 and they also toured Otupo women group at Kapkoris.
The Ewan Kiror women group has been engaging in tomato farming but due to challenges occasioned by the Coronavirus pandemic they diverted into capsicum farming and they have been reaping big from the project.
Capsicum has been on high demand lately in a number of hotels and supermarkets as the group of women grabbed an opportunity to sell their products at a higher price.
Speaking after visiting the capsicum green house project Kyler McCarter said the world is hopeful they will defeat the Coronavirus pandemic and asked Kenyans to follow the regulations to prevent more infections.
“The pandemic should not discourage us from going to our farms, as long as you maintain social distancing, wear masks and sanitize, you can still be in the farms and produce more. I’m impressed with what we have seen the women doing, it’s great and the US will consider adding more green houses to empower women,” he said.
While at Otupo women group in Kapkoris, McCarter applauded the women poultry group for their hard work terming it exemplary. He urged more women to engage in poultry farming.
Mrs. Victoria McCarter commended the women for working hard despite the hardships they encounter in the marginalized County.
“Thank you for working hard to support your families. I’m impressed with your commitment and ensuring this project is successful,” she said.
Governor John Lonyangapuo applauded the US government for empowering women in the Pokot community, citing that during the beginning of the project the women managed to get Kshs 100,000 profit through tomato farming.
“They got a lot of profit during the first harvest, the Coronavirus pandemic interfered with the progress but we are hopeful they will make a come back and increase the harvest,” said Lonyangapuo.
He requested the US government to set up another green house for the women so that they can grow both tomatoes and capsicum.
He urged brokers to stop exploiting the women adding that some business people have been buying farm produce at a cheaper price and yet they export the same product at double price.
“We would like the US government to also partner with us and revive pyrethrum farming in the County,” he stated. The ambassador also donated over 100,000 face masks which will be distributed to schools.