Kenya’s second largest county, Marsabit County, has over 200,000 people bearing the brunt of an acute food and water shortage.
Dried up water lagas and barren agricultural fields are now dominating Marsabit County. Women are forced to walk for several kilometers in search of water. The little agricultural land is covered in dust, with carcasses spread across the ground. Recent reports have indicated that about 2.8 million Kenyans are at the brink of starvation should climate change continue to bite hard. President Uhuru Kenyatta declared the current drought a national disaster. The situation in Marsabit continues to be monitored closely by government agencies like the National Drought Management Authority NDMA. Locals are asking for immediate help with water and food.
At the heart of the drought period, locals share the same water points with animals. The families also share the little food they have with their animals, in the hope to keep them alive. Many children have turned to be full-time herders. They are forced to travel many kilometers in search of pasture and water for their livestock. The majority are migrating even as far as the Ethiopian border. Women and children travel in the late evening to search for water; they sleep there to get water in the early morning before going back home.
Mitigation measures include distribution of food, supplementary feeding, a school feeding program, enhancement of integrated outreach programs in health facilities, and community sensitization on afforestation.
How Is IREMO (Indigenous Resource Management Organization) Assisting?
Indigenous Resource Management Organization (IREMO) is a registered nonprofit making organization that supports communities to secure their basic rights and services as right holders from duty bearers for their own development, initiate and manage their own resources.
The organization supports individuals or groups whose rights are infringed either as a result of traditional practices or by state. IREMO primary targets are the poor and disadvantaged community members (especially women and girls) who are supported through their own ideas and effort in order to uplift themselves from their current situation.
IREMO plans to support these marginalized women some living with disabilities and others FGM survivors who have had to live less dignified lives in the past. The NGO also wants to save women from the long-distance walk to fetch water by helping them acquire well lined water pans in their homes for easy access of livestock, and for household use which will translate to better childcare services.
Emu Sacco is working closely with IREMO to support 5 groups of vulnerable women to acquire good quality, long-lasting dam liners and shade-nets, welding and installation services for their water pans.