Horticulture Set To Enhance Fight Against Malnutrition In Wajir
The project which encourages locals to produce vegetables is spearheaded by Sustainable Food Systems Program (SFSP), a non-governmental organization with support from Wajir County Department of Agriculture, Livestock, Fisheries and Irrigation (DALFI) through Kenya Climate Smart Agriculture Program (KCSAP). It aims to enhance nutritional diversity and food security at community level.
The project which depends on irrigation using water from rain fed mini-dams also referred to as water pans is in line with one of President Uhuru Kenyatta’s agenda four pillars; achieving food security for all Kenyans.
On 3rd, February this year a water pan constructed through the World Bank funded Regional Pastoral Livestock Resilience Program (RPLRP) was de-silted to enable farmers harvest more water for irrigation.
According to the Resilience Programme County Coordinator, Omar Bulle, Shalatey the water pan was de-silted to remove sand clogging the water inlets and outlets to enable the community to harvest more water for irrigation as well as in anticipation of the long rains between March and May.
“The long rains will ensure replenishment of water in the pans which should sustain the community’s needs until the November- December short rains period,” Bulle told KNA on phone Sunday.
One of the beneficiaries, Fardowsa Mohamed appreciated the project which he noted had enabled residents to put up kitchen gardens and greenhouses for production of vegetables for household consumption as well as income generation under the supervision of the agricultural extension staff.
Wajir North Agricultural Officer Sittey Hussein concurred with Fardowsa’s sentiments and thanked the community for embracing the project which had enabled them to produce nutritious vegetables such as tomatoes, kales and spinach as well as fruits including watermelon. “This has assisted a lot in alleviating and preventing malnutrition in the community, especially amongst children under the age of five,” Hussein expounded.