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news | July 26, 2016 | Kenya | Emergency

Ending drought emergencies in Kenya: ACTED teams remain mobilised

Resources Management Committee (RMC) member from Lolmolog (Samburu) explains how they are sharing resources with neighboring Pokot community members from Nasur, and how the arrangement has improved relations between the two communities - ACTED Kenya, 2016

Climate change, exacerbated by the El Niño phenomenon, has adversely affected the Horn of Africa, causing drought and famine. This also happened in 2011, when a severe drought episode struck the entire East African region, including Kenya, and caused a massive 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 (ASALs), north of the country.

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

Over the past years, ACTED has continued to conduct emergency interventions to provide livelihood and immediate life-saving support and cover humanitarian gaps.

On June 6, 2016, ACTED Kenya team attended the launch of the “Ending Drought Emergencies” initiative in Samburu County. This government initiative is a new approach that recognises that droughts cause emergencies because the foundations and institutions needed to support sustainable livelihoods in drought-prone areas are weak.

Recurrent food crises caused by drought episodes have continued to be of concern for the government as well as emergency and development stakeholders in Kenya. Therefore, the Kenyan government, in consultation with the concerned stakeholders, spearheaded the drafting of the the “Ending Drought Emergencies” document. The paper is a flagship project under the framework of Kenya’s development programme, “Kenya 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-prone 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 into the County Integrated Development Plans.

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

In addition, inter-communal conflicts are key drivers of food insecurity, destruction and displacements in Samburu and Mandera counties. Under the ongoing Directorate-General for European Civil Protection and Humanitarian Aid Operations (ECHO) project, ACTED will support more peace meetings and inclusive conflict resolution at the community level, and will focus on enhancing meaningful women participation in conflict mitigation and resolution. The project includes an aspect of gender mainstreaming in resilience and development programming.

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,” said one of the beneficiaries.

During 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 ready 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, or Action Against Hunger).