The KCB Foundation, the social investment arm of leading lender KCB, has signed an agreement that will see thousands of livestock farmers in five of Kenya’s counties benefit from improved water and sanitation facilities.
The deal with the Millennium Water Alliance (MWA) under the Kenya Arid Lands Partnership for Integrated Development Program (Kenya RAPID) with funding from the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) and the Swiss Development Corporation (SDC) will also give farmers access to training and credit facilities.
The partnership, which was signed in Nairobi, will see the KCB Foundation – through its ‘Mifugo Ni Mali’ programme – work with MWA to stimulate enterprises that will support livestock value chain improvement in the Arid and Semi-Arid Lands (ASALs).
The KCB Foundation’s Mifugo Ni Mali Programme has been at the forefront of driving economic expansion in the ASALs.
Mifugo Ni Mali, Swahili for ‘Livestock is Wealth’, collaborates with livestock producers in the ASALs to accelerate commercialization of the livestock sector, ensuring livestock keepers retain a higher proportion of the final sale price of the livestock.
The move is part of Kenya’s Resilient Arid Lands Partnership for Integrated Development (RAPID) drive, an initiative that seeks to improve access to safely-managed drinking water, sanitation and hygiene over the next four years.
The programme is billed as one of the region’s most transformative partnerships and is expected to transform the lives of citizens in Kenya’s Isiolo, Turkana, Garissa, Wajir and Marsabit Counties.
“Through this strategic partnership, we foresee productive and sustainable commercialised livestock and water sectors in the targeted counties. There is a great untapped potential in the counties,” said KCB Foundation Executive Director Jane Mwangi.
“We believe this will contribute to an enhanced economic status for the households and the counties as a whole,” he continued.
MWA Executive Director Mr Rafael Callejas echoed the importance of the partnership that is anchored on private sector involvement in driving sustainable economic activity.
“We are looking at changing livelihoods through innovative business models. The small-scale entrepreneurs will also have more opportunity for training on getting and managing credit,” he said.
Through this partnership, the KCB Foundation will conduct financial literacy training of 100 small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) in the livestock and water value chains, support pasture production, prepare water service providers and livestock keepers for commercial loans of up to Ksh103 million ($1 million) in addition to sharing technologies and approaches in sustainable service delivery.
Other private-sector partners include Aqua for All, The Coca-Cola Africa Foundation, SweetSense, Acacia Water, IBM, Davis & Shirtliff, and Vitol Foundation.
The KCB Foundation has invested an estimated Ksh1 billion ($9.7 million) in community programmes in Kenya, South Sudan, Rwanda Tanzania, Uganda and Burundi.
By Dennis Lukhoba