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KVDA to start projects to boost food security

BUSIA
By | June 13th 2011

By LUCAS NG’ASIKE

Turkana County

The Kerio Valley Development Authority (KVDA) has outlined projects it intends to implement to tackle food insecurity and minimise conflicts along the borders in Turkana.

KVDA Managing Director Francis Kipkech said they would establish irrigation schemes along the fertile Omo Delta and expand fishing activities in Lake Turkana.

"We will consider establishing an irrigation scheme in Todonyang along the border to engage farmers in crop farming to boost food security and minimise conflicts in the area," Kipkech said.

He was addressing more than 1,000 families affected by insecurity and famine in Lowarengak Location, Todonyang when KVDA donated food worth more than Sh1 million at the weekend.

More than 40 residents who had crossed to neighbouring Ethiopia in search of food were killed by the Merille militia last month. The killings also forced several residents in Todonyang to flee the area.

Fishing gear

Kipkech said KVDA would provide fishing gear to fishermen to boost fishing activities in Lake Turkana.

He said the lake was abundant with fish resources, which required more exploitation to improve incomes and livelihoods of residents.

Kipkech said the authority would also equip locals with modern farming methods to ensure the area became a food secure zone. He also observed that Turkana North had a potential environment for beekeeping.

"We will introduce beekeeping in the area and then buy the honey from farmers," he said.

KVDA chairperson Joyce Emanikor appealed to the Government to deploy security forces at Todonyang.

Ms Emanikor said dozens of residents who have been displaced in the area were willing to return to their homes, but fear repeat attacks by militiamen in Todonyang.

Emanikor said she feared that an outbreak of disease was likely to hit the displaced persons who have overcrowded villages neighbouring Todonyang.

She said relief food distribution by the Government and agencies was not a solution to food insecurity in the area. "A permanent solution must be found to address the hunger problems affecting the people," she said.

Locals claimed since they fled the area last month, the Government had not deployed security personnel along the volatile Todonyang borders as it had promised.

More than 1,200 families were camping at Lowarengak Location, 25km from the volatile Todonyang border, but they are in dire need of food, water and medicine.

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