Horn of Africa crisis: TSF's intervention in north Kenya

In response to the acute food crisis that is now affecting the north of Kenya and its neighbouring countries in the Horn of Africa, Télécoms Sans Frontières (TSF) dispatched a team to the affected region of Dadaab, north-east Kenya. More than 10 million people are directly threatened by the famine prominent in three countries in the Horn of Africa, Kenya, Somalia and Ethiopia, which have been hit by the worst period of drought for 60 years. Every day, thousands are pouring into the humanitarian camps in Dadaab (Dagahaley, Hagadera and Ifo), which today shelter close to 400,000 refugees; more than four times the predicted initial capacity.

The TSF team conducted telecom assessments in several areas of the Dadaab and Garissa regions to identify the needs of humanitarian workers as well as refugees. Meanwhile, TSF experts established an Internet network connection for the NGO VSF Belgium in Garissa, in order to optimize the actions to affected populations.

The assessments revealed that most of the refugees have access to communication systems within the camps, and that Internet connectivity is available in the region. The implementation of long term projects in this context of food crisis will better benefit the displaced populations. In collaboration with VSF Germany, the TSF team conducted in the northern regions of Kenya, a feasibility study for the implementation of a project of cash transfer by SMS to help the population affected by drought. This program is currently being prepared. We will keep you informed about the progress of the mission; consult this webpage regularly for updates.

VSF is an international NGO that supports local farming cooperative projects worldwide, and the impact of its work with livestock breeders and farmers in southern countries is very important. The first collaboration between TSF and VSF was in July 2005, in response to a food crisis that hit Niger and affected more than three million people. TSF, in cooperation with VSF Belgium, opened an emergency telecoms centre and priority telephone lines in Dakoro, southern Niger, to the benefit of all organisations working in the field. Read about this project.

Thus, in the context of the food crisis, TSF has chosen to work alongside these organisations, to reinforce their programs in the field of new technologies to aid the affected populations.