The National Drought Management Authority has initiated Garsen Integrated Livelihood Project in Tana Delta Sub-County, Tana River County.
The Garsen Integrated Livelihood Project is implemented by the NDMA with financial support from the European Union at a cost of Ksh 15 million, with the County Government of Tana River contributing Ksh 2.3 million in the form of tractors for land preparation, pesticides and fertilisers, and the establishment of an apiary. The Danisa community contributed Ksh 4.5 million, raising the total amount to Ksh 21.9 million.
With the European Union support, the NDMA has capitalized on land preparation, seed and seedling distribution, and irrigation infrastructure, including 20 water pumps and 300 pipes, as well as 376 beehives and other accessories.
The project’s beneficiaries who are pastoralists will now have an alternative source of income due to the diversification of their livelihoods through farming, beekeeping, and pasture production.
The main objectives of this project are to increase crop production through establishment of irrigation infrastructure in 100 households with each household improving income through diversification of livelihood sources, reduce dependence on rain-fed pasture regeneration through fodder production, influence change in livestock and crop production practices and build capacity of Garsen Ward Community in marketing and market dynamics for profitability of their enterprises.
Principal Secretary for Arid and Semi-Arid Lands (ASALs) and Regional Development Mr. Idris Dokota during the commissioning of the project said “It is critical that, in addition to addressing the urgent needs of affected residents, we shift our main focus on improving community resilience through projects like the one we are launching today. This project is consistent with the Government’s goal of assisting farmers in increasing productivity so that they can feed themselves and generate a surplus that will benefit the national food security and the economy”.
This initiative comes at a time when farmers have been significantly impacted by drought and other extreme weather conditions, resulting in a poor harvest, crop failure, and the loss of livestock. In the end it will cushion the community from the ravaging effects of drought, he added.
NDMA CEO Lt. Col (Rtd) Hared Hassan urged the community to ensure the project is sustainable. He also assured them of support to deal with Fall Army Worm infestation on the farm.
I have seen the challenge you are facing with pests. We recognise your hard work and determination to be food sufficient. I have, therefore, already approved procurement of the required pesticides and fungicides, which you should receive soon
– NDMA CEO
Tana River County is one of the counties in Kenya that is vulnerable to climate change and extreme weather occurrences. Rising temperatures and frequent droughts contribute to significant agricultural and livestock losses, resulting in starvation, displacement, and other risks.