Baringo County has entered into a Sh2.3 billion deal with the World Food Programme in a bid to fight perennial hunger resulting from drought.
The partnership seeks to strengthen emergency preparedness and response as well as social protection of poor households.
Governor Stanley Kiptis and WFP country director Anna Lisa Conte signed an MoU in the governor’s office recently.
The partnership aims at supporting the school feeding programme, strengthening the food market and supply chain, and supporting communities by funding the construction of irrigation schemes.
“We want to ensure that governments change lives by ensuring there is food security and zero hunger. Our focus in the past was to save lives through drought response but we are now shifting to changing lives by providing resilience,” said Ms Conte.
She said their focus is to ensure that people become resilient.
“We want to make households more resilient by diversifying livelihoods and giving them many options to access food at affordable prices through sustainable food systems,” said the director.
Mr Kiptis said the partnership will go a long way in boosting the living standards of locals in arid and semi-arid areas.
“This has come at an opportune time when the county is experiencing challenges of drought occasioned by climate change. My government will take keen interest in ensuring that implementation of this partnership is taken seriously,” said Mr Kiptis.
He said he had set aside funds to buy a rig and excavator to drill more boreholes and water pans for domestic and irrigation use so as to increase food production and alleviate the perennial food insecurity.
A spot check by the Nation revealed that many water sources had dried up, forcing pastoralists to migrate to neighbouring counties, sparking fears on inter-community conflicts.
Lactating mothers have borne the brunt of the drought as they are unable to suckle their young ones.
It also emerged that some residents have started feasting on carcasses of death livestock, sparking fears of diseases. Tiaty MP William Kamket termed the situation dire, even as he called for urgent intervention by the government and other humanitarian agencies.
“It’s good that the government is putting in place some intervention though a bit late. We are facing extreme water shortage. All pans and dams are dry. We need relief intervention,” said Mr Kamket.
He said that pastoralists from his constituency had moved to Samburu, West Pokot and Baringo South in search of water and pasture for their livestock, sparking armed conflicts with two herders being shot dead last week at Tot.
Baringo County National Drought Management Authority coordinator Bethwel Wafula said over 106,800 people were staring at starvation.