Market Day for refugees and host communities
To mark the World Refugee Day in Turkana County, Kenya, Action Africa Help
International (AAH-I) and other livelihoods thematic working partners (Lutheran World Foundation, National Council of Churches of Kenya, FilmAid Kenya, Norwegian Refugee Council, Handicap International, Food and Agriculture Organization, Swiss Contact, Food for the Hungry County Government of Turkana, Equity Bank) and other stakeholders hosted 3-day market day event. The objective of the event was to promote business and access to diverse products and linkages to other business persons and also to promote community integration and peaceful coexistence among the refugees and the neighbouring host community.
The event, held from 16th to 18th June saw business men and women show case and sell their products at the market. The event dubbed ‘Soko Yetu Bidhaa Bora kwa Bei Nafuu”, was organized by UNHCR in partnership with various implementing agencies in Kakuma. Five AAH-I supported farmers; Mohamed Khadir, Mary Asekai, Jecinta Atapar, Asekoi Lokarin and Iravasha Gadi from Wadi Azom, Natemsokoi, Nalemsokon, Narongor and Tusonge Mbele farmer groups respectively. Among the products sold were fresh vegetables from the Choro farm in Kakuma 3 -pumpkin, pumpkin leaves, cowpeas leaves, cucumber, okra, jaw mallow, spinach and kales. Cumulatively, 140kgs of assorted vegetables worth Ksh. 14,250 were sold by AAH-I supported farmers during the event.
Pumpkin on sale at the market day
The market day event was officially opened by the UNHCR’s Honorine Sommet-Lange, Head of Sub-Office, Kakuma. She commended the work being done by various implementing agencies in ensuring self-reliance for refugees through entrepreneurial livelihoods activities. “Refugees and host community members need to peacefully coexist and take advantage of the work being done to support vulnerable communities,” she said.
A cross-section of the stalls at the market day
“I enjoy participating in these market days – farmers are able to sell more compared to other ordinary days,” said Mohamed Khadir, a refugee from South Sudan and an AAH-I beneficiary. He is a member of Wadi Azom farmers group and has been practising farming since 2015. His sentiments were echoed by Salima Espirance, a fishmonger from Kakuma 1.
“Before joining AAH-I in 2015, I was a part-time plumber and a firewood distributor for a local NGO. Since then, I have gained new skills and knowledge in various farm husbandry methods and different crop varieties. It is inspiring to see farmers from different nationalities become incrementally self-reliant through the training and support provided by AAH-I,” said Isaac Erukundi Erot, an AAH-I incentive staff and guest at the event.
Other products sold during the event were fish, fruits, cakes, and electronic devices and accessories. The event was held at the proposed AAH-I Market area opposite Kakuma 3 reception centre.
Fishmongers displaying the catch of the day