Ending drought emergencies in Kenya: ACTED teams remain mobilised

Climate change, exacerbated by the El Niño phenomenon, has adversely affected the Horn of Africa, causing drought and famine, as it happened in 2011, when a severe drought struck the entire East African region, including Kenya, and caused a severe food crisis.

With the aim of reducing drought emergencies, ACTED Kenya has been implementing resilience projects in the most affected parts of Kenya, the arid and semi-arid lands, in the North of the country.

ACTED’s contribution to ending drought emergency, a flagship project under Kenya’s development programme

Over the past years, ACTED continued to conduct emergency interventions while providing livelihood support in its intervention areas in order to provide immediate life-saving support, and cover humanitarian gaps.

On 6 June 2016, ACTED Kenya team attended the launch of the “Ending Drought Emergencies in the arid and semi-arid lands” project in Samburu County. This ECHO-funded project aims at responding to the food crisis stemming from recurring droughts throughout the region.

Recurrent food crises as a consequence of droughts has continued to be of concern for the government as well as emergency and development stakeholders in Kenya. Therefore the Kenyan government, in consultation with all concerned stakeholders, spearheaded the development of the document “Ending Drought Emergencies” as a flagship project under Kenya’s development programme, “Vision 2030”.

Implementing resilience projects in the arid and semi-arid lands to reduce drought emergencies

Over the past years, ACTED has engaged in preparing drought-proned communities, in particular by supporting the set up of community-managed disaster risk reduction committees which have been empowered to develop contingency plans at the community level. ACTED has further supported the integration of these plans to the County Integrated Development Plans.

Other ACTED activities in the arid ans semi-arid lands include early warning and early action through installment of early warning flags at the county level and in collaboration with the National Drought Management Authority (NDMA) and support of peace committee that resulted in shared resource agreements.

Also, inter-communal conflicts are key drivers of food insecurity, destruction and displacements in Samburu and Mandera counties. Under the ongoing ECHO project, ACTED will support more peace meetings and inclusive conflict resolution at the community level, with a focus to enhance meaningful women participation in conflict mitigation and resolution. The project includes an aspect of gender mainstreaming in resilience and development programming.

According to a beneficiary, “the ‘Ending drought emergencies in arid and semi-arid lands’ project will protect the vulnerable and achieve national development goals in accordance with the Kenyan constitution”.

On the launch event, the team participated in showcasing the various above-mentioned activities implemented by ACTED to tackle drought issues in Kenya. The team is now excited to implement and record the achievements of the project. For the first time, REACH/IMPACT will be involved and will provide technical assistance to NDMA in reviewing their data collection tools, data analysis processes and to improve the quality of products produced by the NDMA.

The project is being implemented in partnership with Vétérinaires Sans Frontières Germany and Action Contre la Faim (ACF).