AAH Kenya is addressing development challenges in partnership with marginalised Kenyan communities mainly living in low income urban and rural settings including Arid and Semi-arid Areas (ASALs). It has been working since 2005 in Narok County under the flagship ‘Improving the Standard of Living of Pastoralist Communities in Mara Division’ programme covering water, education and health sectors in the 14 sub-locations of Mara Division.The programme has effectively utilised a strong community-based approach, working with local community development committees and the Mara Division Development Programme (MDDP). In Kenya we have projects in Mara (Narok County), Kakuma (Turkana County), Kitengela (Kajiado County) & Kayole (Nairobi County).
The Kakuma Refugee Assistance Programme (KRAP) aims to enhance self-reliance and sustainable livelihoods of 4,080 refugees in Kakuma Camp, Turkana County, through development of models that will address resilience, safety net and consumption; skills enhancement, employment opportunities and enterprise development.
One of the goals of this project is to form a baseline that will support the development of the livelihood strategy for 2016 and beyond by AAH-I as the lead implementing agency of livelihood activities on behalf of UNHCR. In 2015, the project envisions to support existing livelihood initiatives in agriculture and business development. The project will ensure new Persons of Concern (PoC) arriving in the camp undergo a livelihood capacity assessment/profiling exercise. This is aimed at identification of skills that new refugee arrivals can use to earn a livelihood as soon as they are registered. New PoC will receive an induction that will create a self-reliance mindset by introducing life skills and basic financial literacy training in the camp reception process.
Achievements as of September 2015
To date, 445 farmers have been trained in group formation and organisation development. A further 422 have also been trained in modern agricultural production methods. The project has also established two demonstration farms to support this training and has installed water tanks and a solar pump. In addition, 120 PoCs (Persons of Concern) have been supported with start-up capital to engage in various business enterprises. This is following assessments that the project has been carrying out to determine the capacity of the beneficiaries to receive business loans.
The Mara Entrepreneurship and Market Development (MEMD) is a two-year project funded by Bread for the World (BftW), Germany. MEMD builds on AAH Kenya’s previous engagement with the communities in the area, and the Narok county government. It focuses on marginalised and resource-poor communities with lowest development indicators in areas such as education and health. The project’s goal is to support the development of an ‘entrepreneurial mind-set’ in community members in the Mara area, in order to strengthen their resilience and capacity to lead their own development.
Achievements as of September 2015
Several value chain surveys in beads, livestock and small businesses have also been conducted. The value chain surveys were aimed at strengthening community resilience and capacity to lead its own development. For example, the bead market was settled on after the local Maasai women said that it is an area they would want to grow in. This study highlighted the leading determinant of demand at 35% was the quality and variety of designs. Furthermore, it revealed that the local Maasai women were lacking in innovativeness which explained why beaded ornaments from the city found a place in the Mara markets. The research was carried out in April to June 2015 in Mara Region.
In addition, two fish ponds have been constructed in Nkoilale Primary and House of Love children’s home in Naikara. Communities are being encouraged to embrace fish-farming which will give them additional incomes and enrich their diet.
Moreover, the fish farmers have also been urged to form associations in order to reap more profits from the enterprise. Some of the ways to achieve this is through the linkage to new markets for livestock through visits to various successful model businesses including Mara Beef in Trans Mara, Nema Slaughter House in Nairobi and the Narok North Buyers Association.
This project which was an 18-month pilot started in March 2013 and was collaboration between AAH Kenya and the Institute of Ayurveda and Integrative Medicine in India (I-AIM). The project was supported by a CAD 100,000 grant from Grand Challenges Canada (GCC), which was funded by the Government of Canada and was dedicated to supporting Bold Ideas with Big Impact in global health. Every year, an estimated 2.2 million people die globally from preventable disease caused by consuming unsafe water. I-AIM patented the design, based on the traditional Indian traditional Indian practice of storing water in copper pots.
The project is testing a water purification copper-coil device aimed at reducing the bacterial load in household drinking water and thus deaths among urban low-income communities that have difficulties obtaining water for their daily needs, resorting to using water from unreliable sources.
In Kenya, the project is working with 250 households in two urban low-income settlements in Kayole (the test site) and Kitengela (the control site). I-AIM is carrying out complementary research in villages near Bangalore, India.
Kibera is the largest informal settlement in Nairobi and the second largest in Africa; it has approximately 800,000 people and 93 clinics and hospitals. KMRI’s objective was to create a functional medical record system and geographic database that can be accessed by all the health facilities. This was to improve access to, and efficiency of, health care by making it easy for people to use services in different facilities and for referral between facilities.
The Access, Bottlenecks, Costs, and Equity (ABCE) project was a collaborative project between Action Africa Help-International (AAH-I) and the Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation (IHME), an independent global health research center at the University of Washington, Seattle.
Data was collected from 253 facilities in 18 counties in Kenya from April to November 2012 and involved a facility survey, Clinical chart extractions of HIV-positive patients on ART and a Patient exit interview survey.
The ABCE project was launched in 2011 and funded through the Disease Control Priorities Network (DCPN), a multiyear grant from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation to comprehensively estimate the costs and cost-effectiveness of a range of health interventions and delivery platforms.In addition to Kenya, the multipronged, multi-partner ABCE project has taken place in six other countries (Colombia, Ghana, Lebanon, Uganda, Zambia, and six states in India. In 2014, the project will take place in Bangladesh and Mozambique.
The ABCE project contributes to the global evidence base on the costs of and capacity for health service provision and aims to develop data-driven and flexible policy tools that can be adapted to the particular demands of governments, development partners, and international agencies.
AAH Kenya supported the set-up of Community Development Committees in each of the 14 project sub-locations and began a series of small projects to improve health, education and WASH; for instance protecting water sources, installing water harvest systems in schools and extending water pipelines; installation of solar lighting and supply of equipment to selected dispensaries and schools. This included support to development of water management committees and support to strengthening school management committees.
The communities themselves contributed over 26% of the project finances as well as provided support in kind (for instance, labour). The project also proposed other livelihood-challenged communities for donor support, including addressing issues of girls’ life chances – high education drop-out rates, early marriage and child birth in Mijikenda communities in coastal Kenya and among the Maasai in Narok County, where Female Genital Mutilation/Cutting was also an issue of concern.