The British Red Cross is working with communities in northern Kenya to prepare for drought and other natural disasters.
Tucked away in the north of the country, Turkana is the least developed region in Kenya. The area’s physical remoteness and undeveloped economy mean that over 93 per cent of its population live in extreme poverty.
Long periods of drought make it impossible for people to build a sustainable future. Many communities are rendered entirely dependent on food aid due to regular natural disasters that could be managed before they become crises.
Breaking the cycle
The Kenya Red Cross, with support from the British Red Cross is directly helping 12,000 people in the Turkana south region to improve their ability to withstand natural disasters like drought.
The programme is focused on:
improving access to food
building water points for accessible drinking water
improving health, hygiene and sanitation
identifying business opportunities within the community
providing micro grants for building repairs and community projects
working with the health and education ministries to establish disaster preparedness strategies.
Community driven solutions
The Kenya Red Cross is developing a volunteer network in Turkana South to gather community feedback on the cycle of aid dependency that has crippled them for so long.
The challenge is to reach out to Turkana’s rural pockets of civilisation. Volunteers trained in first aid, disaster response and psycho-social support are working across the area to form links with health, water, sanitation and environment workers to form community action plans.
By building trust among people, the Red Cross will be best positioned to raise awareness of the impact of natural disasters and help communities to prepare.