|Animals in dry areas|
The Government in conjunction with international development partners will initiate a multibillion-shilling development programme to address food insecurity in the arid and semi-arid regions of Kenya.
The programme is expected to not only come up with long-term measures to mitigate the vagaries of drought and flooding in the ecologically fragile areas but also fast track development initiatives through investment in infrastructure.
Among the outputs of the new programme will be the formation of the Drought Management Authority and the ASAL Secretariat whose core mandate will be to coordinate development in the marginalized areas of Kenya.
The Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of State for the Development of Northern Kenya and Other Arid Lands Mr Lawrence Lenayapa said talks were at an advanced stage between the Government and the World Bank, Danida, European Union and DFID to enable the programme take off.
"Food insecurity in the ASALs is a priority of the government. The new programme will seek and implement long-term projects to address this critical issue of food security," said Lenayapa.
At least 25 counties from the North Rift, Eastern, North Eastern, Coast and Central Rift will benefit from the programme, which will cover water, agriculture, livestock, natural resource management and roads and ICT infrastructure.
"According to the roadmap, the new ASAL development programme shall be running before the end of the year. Some partners are already set to have the programme ready as early as July," said Mr Lenayapa.
The PS made the remarks during a meeting with the Ministry staff in Nairobi on Tuesday.
He said Treasury had already set aside funds in the next financial year towards the initiative.
The ASAL sector-wide programme is a follow-up on the Arid Lands Resource Management Project II, which wound up last December. It was funded by the government in conjunction with the World Bank.