Saturday, 1 September 2012

PM Raila Odinga Launches Sh.3B Poverty Alleviation Program in Busia County

Prime Minister Raila Odinga yesterday formally launched the Programme for Agriculture and Livelihoods in Western Communities (PALWECO) which is aimed at reducing the prevalence of poverty in Busia County in Western Kenya and is set to run for 5 years.

The event was held at the Busia Municipal Stadium and targets to reduce poverty and improve the living standards of the population of seven districts in the County. The joint agricultural program being sponsored by the government of Finland in partnership with the Kenya government at a cost of Sh3 billion.

Speaking at the Busia Municipal Stadium during the official launch of the PALWECO project, Raila said the programme will increase average household income in the County from Sh1,239 to Sh8,000 in 2016.

Planning, National Development and Vision 2030 Permanent Secretary, Edward Sambili, said the program comes at a time when Busia County continues to experience high levels of poverty estimated at 69% by the Kenya Intergrated Household Budget Survey, 2005/06, which is above the national average of 46%.

PALWECO Program Director Sakwa Mwangala, said the programme that although the seven districts; Bunyala, Busia, Nambale, Butula, Samia, Teso North and Teso South do not represent the poorest in the country, absolute poverty remains at 60%, which is significantly higher than the national averages for rural (54%) and urban (53%) areas.

Mwangala added that: “The results of PALWECO are largely impact oriented and it is based on three components; Household economy, value chains approach and support function.” The director also said that the program will reach a high number of beneficiaries but not all of them in the same way. “The household economy component includes subcomponents and activities from which the targeted households and communities can choose the ones that best correspond with their needs and priorities,” he explained.

Other dignitaries at the launch included Minister for Planning, National Development and Vision 2030 Wycliffe Oparanya and the PS Dr Edward Sambili, PS Ministry of Finance Joseph Kinyua and the Finland Ambassador to Kenya Sofie a number of MPs among others.

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