Access to timely and up-to date information like market information especially in marginalized areas is a critical element for spurring economic development given the dynamism of some sectors like agriculture that these communities heavily depend on. Under the second Medium Term Plan (MTP II) of Vision 2030, the Government of Kenya prioritizes on inclusive economic growth and job creation through supporting the creation of Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs) that can play a key role in improving livelihoods. Access to climate change information in relation to adaptation and mitigation, is one innovative approach of enhancing resilience for vulnerable production systems and households - since it helps communities to prepare in case of unforeseen negative eventualities. It is against this background that the Low Emission and Climate Resilient Development (LECRD) Project is facilitating the establishment of a Community Education Business and Information Centre (CEBIC) in Lesidai, Samburu County. The Centre which is currently under construction is expected to offer multiple services including; a meeting facility, cultural centre for displaying of indigenous technologies, a library, shop that will sell various products including household renewable energy technologies and agro-vet products, and Information Communication Technology (ICT) facility. The Centre will serve the community around Loosuk which is one of the 5 wards in Samburu West Sub-county with a geographical coverage of 690.8 Km2, a total population of approximately 20,000 persons-while the whole Sub-county has a total population of 92,676.
A site inspection visit and community meeting was held on the 24th and 25th of July. Participating in the visit were officers from the LECRD project and USAID which was represented by Mr. Enock Kanyanya. Construction works were found to be progressing well, as the substructure works were complete and the superstructure walling and steel fixing to columns ongoing. It is expected that the Centre construction and equipping will be complete by November, 2017. During the community meeting, it was affirmed that the centre will offer great benefits to the community whose main livelihood is pastrolism and is often greatly affected by climate change. The Community members expressed that their expectation was that the Centre will be used for community empowerment through poverty eradication and peace dialogues for both the Samburu and the neighbouring Pokot community. It was further proposed that the Centre be managed by the County, in this regard it was proposed that the Village Administrator be domiciled at the Centre and offer County services from this facility. During previous meetings with county officials it had been proposed that the county provide a budgetary allocation for the operation of the centre. It is expected that a stakeholder validation meeting will be held in the month of September to validate the CEBIC operational model that has been developed by the LECRD Project through Arid Lands Information Network (ALIN).