The food that ActionAid is providing includes cereals, pulses and vegetable oil and is being distributed in the counties of Isiolo, Kilifi, West Pokot and Garissa. The food is provided to the most vulnerable families through what is called asset creation initiative, where beneficiaries are given some kind of work that builds assets like roads for their communities.
“What is needed is urgent and appropriate action to reverse the food shortage situation. We must avoid a serious humanitarian catastrophe,” said Clement Chesire, ActionAid Emergencies Response Manager.
As a result of the drought, food prices in the affected regions in Kenya have increased by 20% - 30% above the long term average. Livestock bodily conditions have deteriorated due to lack of pasture and long watering distances. An estimated 80% of livestock in the arid and semi-arid regions have migrated to areas where they can find pasture thus instigating conflict over grazing areas between different ethnic communities.
ActionAid’s drought response is encouraging women to take lead and organise their communities as well as be in charge of resources that are delivered by the organisation. As a result, the food that is delivered is managed by a women-led committee which is made up of people who live in the community. This is in line the organisation’s philosophy of encouraging women leadership in order to change gender power balance in communities.
ActionAid is also delivering potable water to the affected communities as well as developing sustainable water structures like earth dams. It is also enhancing protection of women and girls who are trekking longer distances in search of water from sexual abuse.