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Fighting famine in Isiolo, farming is the way to go

Gitonga Johnson Steve is a happy man. For the three years that he has worked as the Local Project Advisor for the Kambi Sheikh Self Help group, in Isiolo county, Kenya he has seen his fellow villagers becoming less dependent on relief food.

by Catherine Wanjiru

Gitonga Johnson Steve is a happy man. For the three years that he has worked as the Local Project Advisor for the Kambi Sheikh Self Help group, in Isiolo county, Kenya he has seen his fellow villagers becoming less dependent on relief food. The Food for Assets (FFA) Program that was initiated by World Food Programme (WFP) and ActionAid has helped the community members of Kambi Sheikh and Gambela, they can now plant their own food. The program is benefiting a total number of 28,760 in all the sites. Thanks to FFA, Kambi Sheikh Members, are now harvestings sorghum and green grams

People in this community have depended on relief food for a long time. ActionAid gave us seedlings of Sorghum, cowpeas and maize. The FFA Program is really an encouragement; I have since donated my two acres of land towards this project and in addition given sunflower and pumpkin seeds to plant them using the new farming technologies

- says 38-year old Gitonga.

 Isiolo County has been drought stricken for a long time and the people have learnt to cope with the circumstances. Through the FFA Program, the villagers of Kambi Sheikh have adopted innovations and new farming techniques to beat this environmental and climatic hazard. For Lucia Naske it’s a sigh of relief.

 “This land was a forest and now we are planting food here. It is amazing, I have been getting relief food from ActionAid but with this kind of work we are doing here, I am assured of getting food every so often.” Says Lucia Natukye, a mother of eight.

For Gambela residents in Isiolo, the happiness is the same, the people are working together to improve resilience to future shock. The team in Gambela has organized their work in such a way that, people carry out different roles, watering plants others harvesting. For Diamo Mohammed her role is keeping watch of the farm.

 

Diamo Mohammed

We have suffered in this area, without food and water, we only count on different organizations to provide us with food.

 - 71-year old Diamo narrates.