By Boniface Mulu
The United States Agency for International Development (USAID) with its partners held the Inaugural Kitui County Resilience Knowledge Fair on Thursday, July 6, 2023 where the event took place at the Kitui Agricultural Show Grounds within the Kitui Municipality.
The USAID organised the event in partnership with the Kitui County government, Resilience Learning Activity (RLA) and Mind Next Media Communications. The USAID East Africa Regional Coordinator Ernest Njoroge was the chief guest at the function.
Dozens of exhibitors participated in the event. They included the Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA), World Bank, Nyumbani Village, Kenya Medical Training College, the Kitui Catholic Diocese’s Saint John Paul II Institute, Feed the Future, Kenya Crops and Dairy Market Systems Activity (KCDMS), RTI International, Centre for International Health Education and Biosecurity (CIHEB)-Kenya, Anglican Development Services (ADS) Eastern, Caritas Kitui, Kitui Development Centre and the Kenya Red Cross Society.
In his speech, the chief guest Ernest Njoroge highly thanked all their development partners in Kenya and the world in general. He also thanked the exhibitors and the event’s attendants. Njoroge talked about the climate change and droughts. “Drought is one of the greatest issues that we have today in the world,” he said.
The Kitui County Commissioner Erastus Mwenda Mbui who also addressed the occasion thanked the event’s organisers. “We in Kitui County continue supporting the Resilience Learning Activity for its commendable work in the county,” he said.
For the last five seasons there has been a crop failure in our county as a result of the rains failure,” Mbui regretted. The state officer said the livestock farming can do very well in Kitui County.
He also advised the locals to do it instead of largely relying on maize and beans farming. He asked the locals to form groups for them to benefit in terms of development. “You can’t succeed when you are alone,” he told them.
The Kitui County Deputy Governor Augustine Wambua Kanani also addressed the occasion where he was representing Governor Julius Makau Malombe at the function.
Kanani highly thanked the USAID for its overwhelmingly continued support to the Kitui County government. “We the Kitui County government signed a memorandum of understanding to work with the USAID in all what they do,” he said. “The USAID trained the Kitui journalists at the Kenya Forestry Research Institute (KEFRI) Kitui Regional Research Centre in May this year,” he added.
The Deputy Governor asked the locals to eat the nutritious foods including the baobab leaves for the good of their health.
The roles of the nutrition in our body are to produce energy to keep the body warm and working well, build muscles, bones and parts of the body, repair and heal injuries in the body and help the body resist and fight diseases.
Various foods need to be combined and served together to enable the body obtain all the required nutrients which are important for normal body functioning. Kanani also stressed the importance of farming the indigenous foods in Kitui County.
“Let us go back to the indigenous foods including the sorghum, millet, cassava and cowpeas,” he said.
Kanani regretted the rate at which the climate change had affected the region and Kenya and the entire world. He announced that each of the Kitui County’s 247 villages is currently benefitting with a project by the county government.
The Deputy Governor was accompanied by the County Secretary Agnes Mulewa, the Deputy County Secretary Alex Nzioka Kimanzi and the county ministers Richard John Mwendandu (Environment, Forestry, Climate Change, Energy and Mineral Resources), Stephen Mbaya Kimwele (Agriculture and Livestock), Joyce Kasyoka Masila (Basic Education, Training and Skills Development) and Peter Mwikya Kilonzo (Finance and Economic Planning) among other Kitui County government officials. The event was also addressed by several other speakers.