Over 13 million people throughout Kenya, Somalia, Ethiopia and Eritrea are being affected by the worst drought in the Horn of Africa for 60 years. 3.7 million Kenyans, or nearly 10 percent of the population, are in urgent need of food and medical aid.
Why do we work in Kenya?
Between 300,000 and 400,000 people have been internally displaced by drought and post-2007 election violence. The drought continues to increase poverty and compound development challenges.
The drought and high global food prices have seen the price of essential food supplies, such as maize, double between 2010 and 2011.
Forty three percent of Kenyans live in extreme poverty. There is a large regional disparity in the distribution of poverty, with 30 percent living in poverty in Central Province and over 74 percent in the North Eastern Province.
Over six percent of the population (1.5 million people) are living with HIV/AIDS and the pandemic has left approximately 2.4 million children orphaned. HIV/AIDS has been largely responsible for a decrease in life expectancy and increased child mortality over the last decade.
Primary school enrolment has increased from 80 percent in 2003 to 90 percent in 2008. Completion rates have also increased from 60 percent in 2004 to 80 percent in 2008.
Kenya is also home to over 1 million refugees from Somalia, South Sudan and Ethiopia.
Our work in Kenya
In addition to Caritas Australia’s support to the emergency drought response across 14 dioceses and the Somali refugees in Kambioss camp, in 2011/12 we worked with 6 local partners to implement 6 programs. Programs covered the areas of food security, education, water, hygiene and sanitation, HIV/AIDS, peacebuilding and disaster risk reduction.
Examples of our recent work
- Caritas Australia and our partners provided food/cash for work to 40,000 people and supplied supplementary feeding to elderly, children, pregnant women and new mothers. We provided water, sanitation and hygiene promotion sessions and improved sanitation through construction of pit latrines to prevent diseases. Improved access to clean water for households in North Eastern Kenya.
- Through our partner, Pendekezo Letu (PKL), 99 former street girls graduated from a rehabilitation centre and were successfully reunited with their families. These girls, along with 174 of their siblings, were reintegrated into primary schools. 100 percent continue to attend primary school.
- 300 farmers in Malindi, Kenya planted drought-resistant crops such as cassava, green grams, cow peas and sweet potatoes. Farmers also learnt about food storage and pest management. Farmers have also been introduced to livestock production through the provision of quality animals for cross-breeding and beekeeping. This reduces risk and widens the economic base of the targeted farmers by providing alternatives safety nets.
- The Eldoret Community Dialogue Peacebuilding project targeted those areas that were hit hardest by the post-election violence in 2008. The project addresses the root causes of violence in the region through facilitating communities to dialogue at the village level. The Diocese uses a homegrown peace model documented by the Bishop of Eldoret. The book is entitled Amani Mashinani (Peace at the Grassroots). The project benefited 744 people (men and women) directly by enabling them to improve their skills for peacebuilding and mutual level of interaction with other ethnic groups. People from different ethnic groups who suffered violence and human rights abuses were assisted in preparing for the Truth, Justice and Reconciliation Commission’s public hearings.