Livelihoods Changed through Food Security in Turkana – Thanks to Kenyans for Kenya

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The Kenya Red Cross Society (KRCS) through the Kenyans for Kenya Drought Initiative of 2011 identified parts of the Turkana County as one of the Regions that were going to gain from an early recovery initiatives that was aimed at opening up land to irrigation in Kaikor location, Turkana North District, targeting three villages with a total population of 15,398 people as a Disaster Risk Reduction aimed at building community resilience and enhancing food security. The community is predominantly pastoralists.

The project started in January 2012 with a project life of 12 months through funding from the Kenyans for Kenya Drought Initiative, where Kenyans came together to contribute through mobile telephony and other means, to reverse the fate of other Kenyans who were threatened by death through starvation.

Other projects put up by Kenya Red Cross Society under this initiative include four boreholes that have been drilled and equipped, seeds and seedlings bought. Currently, results of the initiative in the dry area, that had never been thought to produce farm products, can be seen as farmers are reaping from the project after growing assorted vegetables that include kales and maize, among other products.

The community has also been mobilised into enterprise agriculture/common interest groups with the aim of selling the surplus for sustainability. The farmers have also been trained on kitchen gardens and basic farming skills. At least 80 drip irrigation kits and shade-net houses have also been installed by Amiran Kenya Ltd for farming.

During the 2011 drought, Turkana North was one of the hardest hit areas with malnutrition rates as high as 35%.