Nakuru County to partner with Israel’s “Engineers Without Borders” to promote food security
Written by Mercy Kihugu
Nakuru Governor Susan Kihika today held discussions with the Israeli Ambassador, H.E. Michael Lotem on continued and new collaborations between the two governments.
The County Government signed a Memorandum of Understanding with Israel’s Engineers Without Borders (EWB), to seek possibilities to enhance mutual activities in promoting food security in the county and to maintain close relationships between the two bodies.
Through EWB the embassy initiated a spirulina cultivation program, focusing on growing protein-rich blue algae in Keriko Secondary, Njoro Sub-county.
Governor Kihika said that her administration will continue to collaborate in promoting sustainable local production of highly nutritious products for all ages in Nakuru County.
The products will focus specifically on supporting the most vulnerable to malnutrition in the county, especially in complementing the county’s school feeding program agenda.
“The biggest challenge is the level of dropouts by children attending public ECDE schools in Nakuru County due to the levels of poverty which stand at 20 per cent of the population. The situation is worse in the first term such that two ECDE schools were closed early this year in Rongai Sub-county the program will be very significant in retaining children in schools,” she said.
She noted some of the nutritional options would include products for direct human consumption such as spirulina, or alternative feed for chicken and fish, such as duckweed, Azolla and black soldier fly larvae (BSFL).
Ambassador Lotem noted other areas of collaboration will include the promotion of research and development of locally adapted appropriate technologies for food security, and building local capacity by providing demonstrations, training, and ongoing professional advice to farmers and the entire community.
Additionally, the two governments will work together in scaling up production, training farmers and other stakeholders, and establishing research and development centres and knowledge hubs.
The approval of the consumption of spirulina will be very significant in retaining students in the school especially if the area is experiencing hunger issues.
The Governor noted that the county will ensure the desilting of dams in the area to help increase access to water and water for irrigation to support farmers in the area.
The two later visited Keriko Secondary School for a tour to fully understand the production of the algae which is grown in two greenhouses within the school with a capacity of approximately 12,000 liters.
The school has a Spirulina Club with 30 students who have shown great passion for the growth of algae.
They were accompanied by Deputy Governor David Kones, Njoro MP Charity Kathambi, Hon. Philip Wanjohi (Lare), Chief of Staff, Dr Peter Ketyenya, County Executives Leonard Bor (Agriculture), Zipporah Ngugi (Education) Water (Dr Nelson Maara). They were also joined by MCAs Hon. Moses Koros (Mauche), Hon. Simon Karanja (Kihingo), Hon. Cyrus Dida (Mau Narok) Hon. Irene Cheboi (Nominated), Chief Officers Newton Mwaura (Agriculture) Dr Michael Cheruiyot (Livestock, Fisheries, and Veterinary Services), John Koech (Education)and Ms Yahel Lotem ( Israel diplomat), CEO Engineers Without Borders – Israel, Michal Dolev, Rev Edward Ngaira (Office of the First Lady) among others.