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Government Launches Sh. 16.1 Billion Anti-Drought Project

In a landmark move, the Kenyan government has announced the commencement of the DRIVE project, a groundbreaking initiative aimed at De-risking, Inclusion, and Value Enhancement of Pastoral Economies. The ambitious five-year project, valued at Sh. 16.1 billion, was officially launched on July 13, 2023, by His Excellency the Deputy President of the Republic of Kenya, Hon. Rigathi Gachagua.

Speaking at the inauguration ceremony held in Naibor, Laikipia County, Deputy President Gachagua reaffirmed the government’s commitment to the Bottom-up Economic Transformation Agenda (BETA) and the transformative potential of the DRIVE project. As part of the project’s implementation, the Ministry of Agriculture will take the lead in de-risking drought shocks across all Arid and Semi-arid Lands (ASAL) counties.

One of the primary goals of the DRIVE project is to empower pastoralists by introducing improved livestock and commercial practices. By doing so, vulnerable communities will have the means to address their susceptibility to drought and climate-related challenges effectively.

Accompanying the Deputy President were Hon. Mithika Linturi, the Cabinet Secretary for the Ministry of Agriculture and Livestock Development, and Jonathan Mueke, the Principal Secretary for Livestock Development. Both officials emphasized the significance of the project in providing pastoralists with access to a reliable livestock market, ensuring fair value for their livestock through direct sales to processors and exporters.

The DRIVE project also aims to bolster the climate resilience of pastoral communities, contributing to climate change mitigation efforts. Moreover, the initiative emphasizes the inclusion of marginalized and vulnerable groups, such as women and youth, ensuring they benefit from the project’s positive impacts.

With a target of over 150,000 pastoralists across the ASAL counties, the DRIVE project’s comprehensive approach involves two main components. The first component focuses on de-risking pastoral production through financial services, while the second aims to ensure pastoralists receive fair value for their livestock.

The implementation of the project will be overseen by the State Department for Livestock Development, in collaboration with Kenya Development Cooperation (KDC), PTA Reinsurance Company (ZEP-RE), and the World Bank Group (WBG). The State Department for Livestock Development will also play a crucial role in engaging pastoral communities through sensitization programs, registration processes, and public education efforts.

The DRIVE project is set to impact 21 ASAL counties, including Turkana, Marsabit, Mandera, Wajir, Garrissa, Tana River, Isiolo, Samburu, Meru, Tharaka Nithi, Baringo, West Pokot, Narok, Laikipia, Kajiado, Makueni, Kitui, Lamu, Taita Taveta, Kilifi, and Kwale.

With an overarching mission to enhance livestock-based livelihoods, promote economic growth, and tackle climate challenges, the DRIVE project marks a significant step forward in Kenya’s efforts to uplift pastoralist communities and create a more resilient, inclusive, and prosperous future.

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