A team from ALIN on July 1, 2014 held a meeting with the Kajiado County Executive Member in charge of Agriculture, Livestock and Tourism, Hon. Joshua Majakusi in his office. The meeting marked the beginning of a formal engagement process with the Kajiado County Government in the context of the ongoing Project implemented by ALIN in partnership with Act! The is focusing on climate change adaptation; support for communities to take up climate smart agriculture and the formulation of responsive policies and laws to enhance the adaptive capacities of communities in the County.
Hon. Majakusi is also in charge of Land, Physical Planning, Natural Resources Management and Wildlife. He welcomed the ALIN team, saying that he had taken time to learn about the organisation through the ALIN website. He was curious to know what the impact of Maarifa Centres in Kajiando has been.
The ALIN team informed him that more than 500 community members had benefitted from free ICT training offered at the Isinya Maarifa Centre between 2011 and 2012. As an example, more than 90 per cent of people who were employed by the IEBC as poll registration clerks during the 2013 general elections for Kaputiei North Ward were beneficiaries of this training. The centres have also benefitted hundreds of farmers and pastoralists who have received information on agriculture, climate change and other livelihood issues for more than seven years. School children and even researchers have also benefitted from library services offered at the centres, not to mention communities’ access to e-Government and e-Education services via the centres.
After a brief description of the ALIN-Act! Project, the CEM expressed his appreciation of the support and pledged that Kajiado County will support the Project. “If it is going to be successfully implemented in the manner you have described, we have resources that we can use to support partners such as ALIN and Neighbourhood Initiatives Alliance (NIA) to establish water conserving irrigation sites in other Sub-Counties in Kajiado particularly those that do not have abundant water.”
He said that the County had recently received more than Kshs. 1 billion from the Belgian Government to sink 100 boreholes and rehabilitate many others that had fallen into disuse. “Once animals are watered, they leave the water points in search of pasture, but the water stays there. This to me presents an opportunity to integrate water points with drip irrigation systems like the one to be used in this Project,” he noted. He said the County will remain ready to support the following areas among others:
To go to the Project site when it is being launched and to involve the County Governor to officiate.
Commit resources to replicate the system in other sites in Kajiado after the pilot is successfully completed.
To work with ALIN and NIA and other partners in capacity building for communities in climate change adaptation and climate-smart agriculture.
To support consultations between ALIN and other Project stakeholders to engage with the Kajiado County leadership on matters of policy and legislation relating to climate change adaptation.
The visiting team was made up of Ann Nashipae of NIA; Monica Soila, ALIN’s Field Officer for Isinya Maarifa Centres and Anthony Mugo, ALIN HQ. The team had made a stop-over in Kajiado while on their way to Loitokitok to identify the group that will be supported to pilot the solar powered drip irrigation system to be introduced in Kajiado by the Project.
Compiled by Anthony Mugo. Contact: firstname.lastname@example.org