The County Government and World Food Programme have agree to continue partnership that includes joint investment to improve the capacity of Early Childhood Development (ECDE) centres and support to build the resilience of irrigation farms in the county.
In a meeting with Governor Josphat Nanok today at the County HQ, WFP Kenya Head of Country Capacity Strengthening Mari Hassinen said the organization was working on a new MOU with the County Government that will broaden areas of cooperation.
The Governor said the county valued support for its disaster management and ECD feeding programme with Turkana grappling with myriad of challenges that required additional resources than the County Government could manage. He said the focus for his administration in ECD development was to improve transition to primary schools and seeking development partners to invest in grassroots infrastructure to meet the huge demand.
He added that WFP support for capacity development of ECD centres constructed by the County Government, which include computers and printers would boost the centres’ information systems and help to tabulate data in the ECDEs’ inspection and management of school feeding.
The Governor advised the County Department of Education to develop an ECD Feeding draft Bill that will be approved jointly by the County Assembly with the Feeding Policy already developed in partnership with WFP. He said this would cut on the legislative period and reduce the cost of formulation.
He invited WFP to join the County Government and other partners in carrying out a socio-economic survey of households in Turkana to collect data on specific needs and capabilities of each, that will advise packaging of government programmes including Universal Healthcare.
Ms. Hassinen said WFP aimed to further partnership with the County Government to strengthen the capacity and technical support that WFP continues to provide to the government after the formal handover of school feeding programme to the national government.
She said this shift in WFP operations entailed joint assess on existing needs and building joint plans. WFP Programme Policy Officer for School Meals Programme Charles Njeru commended the cooperation through which the policy for ECD feeding policy was drafted.
He said the Local and Regional Purchase initiative where farmer groups are contracted to supply sorghum and cowpeas to schools for the government-run home-grown school meals programme, was meant to stimulate agriculture production in line with the Count Government’s priority on food security.
Also in the meeting was the County Executive for Education, Sports and Social Protection Patrick Losike and Director of Early Childhood Development Samuel Eregae.