Farmers from drought-stricken areas stand to benefit from the new Sh4.84 billion ($56 million) African Development Bank (AfDB) fund whose disbursement is expected to start this year.
The fund is part of the $124 million (Sh10.1 billion) from the bank group for the first phase of a ‘green economy’ drought resilience project and provision of long-lasting means of subsistence to affected populations in the Horn of Africa.
The three countries of Kenya, Djibouti and Ethiopia and the Secretariat of the Inter-governmental Authority on Development (Igad) are involved in the first phase of the regional project funded by way of loans and grants.
The bank’s inclusive green programme is expected to benefit farmers in drought-prone regions of Baringo, Isiolo, Marsabit, Samburu, Turkana and West Pokot – six arid and semi-arid regions in Kenya.
“Farmers in Beyya Dader, Gaggade-Derela and Weimar in Djibouti and Afar in Ethiopia and Somali, are also expected to benefit from the funds, said a statement from the Bank. The project will benefit 12 million people, 98 million cattle, and 173 million sheep and goats that are victims to drought according to the bank’s estimates.
Execution of the financial facility provided by the African Development Fund (ADF) – the concessional window of the African Development Bank Group – is set to begin this year, according to a statement by the bank.
“The implementation of the inclusive green programme will have a deep-rooted environmental and socio-economic impact in these regions,” it said.
Loans and grants
The ADF grants amount to $15 million for Djibouti, and $7 million for Igad Secretariat, while the ADF loans of $46 million and $56 million (Sh4.84 billion) will go to Ethiopia and Kenya, respectively.
The bank said the funding proceeds would support activities aimed at restoring subsistence farming of the populations through investments in natural resources management, land management.
Others include restoration and protection of the ecosystem, as well as agriculture and livestock infrastructure.
The project will equally contribute to the improvement of storage, marketing and transportation facilities, including the upgrade of rural roads.
“The objective is to focus on the deeper causes of the region’s vulnerability in order to build resilience in the face of medium- and long-term drought periods, consolidate peace and promote the equitable use of limited natural resources,” added the bank.
By John Oyuke, The Standard