Kenya on Friday launched a five-year plan aimed at transforming Arid and Semi-Arid Lands (ASAL) into reliable economic hubs.
Mr Eugene Wamalwa, Cabinet Secretary of the Ministry of Devolution and ASALS, said that the 2018-2022 strategic plan targeted livestock, energy, tourism, agriculture, trade and minerals sectors which, he said, were underexploited.
“We want to address the inequalities and vulnerabilities that are currently being experienced in the ASALs in a coordinated manner,” Wamalwa said during the launch.
He said that though the regions faced extreme climatic conditions, leading to devastating effects on the environment and livelihood of communities with spiraling vulnerabilities, they had great potential for development and contributions to national economy.
Wamalwa noted that ASAL regions in Kenya cover 48 million hectares, which is slightly over 80 per cent of Kenya’s total land surface.
“Out of this land mass, 9.6 million hectares support marginal agriculture, 15 million are suitable for sedentary livestock production and 24 million hectares are dry and suitable for nomadic pastoralism,” he added.
Wamalwa said that the government was looking at finding long-term solutions to the problems in the regions by mainstreaming investments as way of finding a lasting sustainable development.