In the vast and arid regions of Northern Kenya, where pastoralism is a way of life, the Ewaso Ng’iro North Development Authority (ENNDA) has embarked on an ambitious and transformative initiative – the Northern Kenya Integrated CAMEL (Camel Milk) Development Programme. This comprehensive project aims to harness the immense potential of the region’s camel milk industry, fostering economic growth, enhancing livelihoods, and promoting sustainable development.

The CAMEL Development Programme is a multi-faceted endeavor that spans across the ENNDA river basin, encompassing the upper catchment areas of Mt. Kenya and the Aberdare Ranges, as well as the lower catchment regions. With a jurisdiction that covers 36.4% (209,576 km²) of Kenya’s land mass and traverses 10 counties, including Nyeri, Laikipia, Isiolo, Marsabit, Samburu, Meru, Nyandarua, Wajir, Mandera, and Garissa, this initiative has the potential to impact the lives of an estimated 4 million people.

At the heart of the CAMEL Development Programme lies the establishment of a World-Class Camel Milk Processing Factory in the region. This state-of-the-art facility will serve as a catalyst for the development of the camel milk value chain, adding value to the locally produced camel milk and positioning it for both domestic and export markets. The processing plant will involve the procurement of milk from villages, chilling, standardization, homogenization, pasteurization, and packaging of various types of market milk, including whole, standardized, toned, and double-toned milk, as well as the manufacture of milk products.

Key Components

The programme is structured around five key components

This component focuses on the construction and operationalization of the World-Class Camel Milk Processing Factory, a critical infrastructure for the industry’s growth.

Recognizing the importance of a robust value chain, this component aims to establish camel milk cooling plants, collection centers, and procurement of refrigerated collection and distribution trucks throughout the basin.

To support the sustainability of camel rearing, the programme will promote the production of livestock feeds (fodders) within the basin, ensuring a reliable supply of quality fodder for the camels.

A dedicated Camel Milk Research and Development Centre will be established to drive innovation, introduce modern animal husbandry technologies, and provide extension services to the communities, enhancing their knowledge and practices in camel rearing.

The programme recognizes the importance of empowering local communities and will conduct capacity-building initiatives, including training on camel rearing and management, as well as awareness campaigns to promote the adoption of camel farming among non-camel-rearing communities.


Project Objectives

The CAMEL Development Programme is expected to deliver a range of tangible outcomes, including increased employment opportunities, improved market access for camel milk and related bi-products, enhanced foreign income earnings from camel milk exports, improved livelihoods and food and nutrition security, increased household incomes, reduced resource conflicts, and the preservation of cultural heritage and natural environments.

By leveraging the region’s rich pastoralist traditions and capitalizing on the growing global demand for camel milk and its products, ENNDA’s Northern Kenya Integrated CAMEL Development Programme has the potential to transform the socio-economic landscape of the region, fostering sustainable development, and positioning camel milk as a catalyst for economic empowerment and prosperity