By Anthony Mugo
A team from ALIN staff made up of the; Deputy Director Anthony Mugo, Projects Officer Esther Lung’ahi and Field Officer Sammy Nzioka paid a courtesy call on the Speaker of the County Assembly of Laikipia, Hon Patrick Mariru accompanied by Hon Jennifer Koinante (Speaker of County Assembly) on June 11, 2014. They briefed the Speaker about the Advocacy and Smart Agriculture Project being implemented in partnership with Act!
The speaker expressed his commitment to the aspirations of the Project saying that the two thrusts of the Project namely: County-focused advocacy for climate change adaptation and promotion of climate smart agricultural practices, were very relevant for Laikipia.
“We find it encouraging getting partners such as NGOs and CBOs in the community because we believe that our very existence and the work we are doing as an Assembly must speak the reality of our people,’’ said Hon Mariru. He added that the County Assembly is aware that much needs to be done to enhance the resilience of the Laikipia community.
“Most of the beans planted in Laikipia dried up because the rains stopped too early. We are also realising that the same will happen to maize. These are definite signs that climate change is happening and it is affecting agriculture the most, hence the need for different technologies for dry land farming,” said Hon Mariru.
ALIN staff with speaker and MCA at Speakers office
Hon. Mariru advised the team to form linkages with relevant County Assembly committees, particularly those in charge of Agriculture, Education and ICTs as well as Finance and Planning. He noted that the committees are highly influential. He announced that the County Assembly will host a big Congress on “Youth and ICTs” between June 20 and 25, 2014. He extended an invitation to ALIN saying he is aware that the organisation pioneered free communities’ access to ICTs in Laikipia through its long-standing Ng’arua Maarifa Centre.
The speaker also mentioned that the Assembly is about to pass a Public Participation Bill, which had already gone through the first and second reading. This will provide modalities for ensuring public participation in the Assembly’s operations. Other Bills he advised ALIN to look out for include the;
The Courtesy call was facilitated by a nominated member of the County Assembly, Hon. Jennifer Koinante who also sat through the meeting. She offered to be the Project’s link person with the Laikipia County Government. As a first step, she offered to convene a meeting between ALIN and County Representatives and executives in charge of: Agriculture; Environment and Natural Resources; Water and Irrigation as well as Education.