The number of COVID-19 positive cases in Kenya continues to rise, despite the government's effort in health messaging, campaign for testing and vaccination, public health protocols, and restrictions to arrest the spread of the virus.
According to the latest data from the field, as reported by Father Francis Maina, MI, the project manager of CADIS Kenya, there are over 204,000 positive cases reported. Only 1.3% (662,000) of the Kenyan population completed the vaccination cycle as of August 2021.
However, the pandemic spread in Kenya has not stopped the humanitarian and resilience actions from a post-COVID perspective. The hope is to improve the quality of life of the particular county where CADIS Taiwan and CADIS International intervention will be realized. It aims to reduce poverty and build community resilience by improving food security and mitigating climate change.
The resilience project, started in May 2021, is implemented in the semi-arid areas of Baringo county, which is mainly affected by climate change. Baringo County comprises six sub-counties: Baringo Central, Baringo South, Baringo North, Eldama Ravine, Mogotio, and Tiaty. Among them, Baringo South has been identified as one of the most affected by climate change which resulted in the flooding of the two lakes - Lake Baringo and Lake Mbogoria - in 2020, which displaced most of the inhabitants and the destruction of the surrounding fields, their primary source of income.
Schools, houses, churches, and other structures have been submerged. The affected families were hosted by the neighboring communities receiving plots of land as a source of livelihood from small-scale agriculture.
The objective is to provide 200 farmers with knowledge and skills for sustainable agriculture to improve crop productivity and increase access to water. Applying the acquired technical skills would contribute to increased productivity and, thus, family income. It will also contribute to improving the food supply in the market. At the end of this project, it is expected to decrease malnutrition and hunger by 20% in Baringo south.
After some changes that have affected different project phases, CADIS, thanks to the collaboration and acceptance of the government and local partners, is carrying on the implementation of the programs. The local Caritas office (CARITAS Nakuru) and the local ordinary of the Catholic diocese of Nakuru were contacted to introduce the initiative of the Camillians in Kenya. The initiative was warmly welcomed by Bishop Maurice Muhatia, who was pleased to welcome them to the diocese. They were also welcomed by the pastor of the Catholic parish of Marigat, who facilitated the introduction of CADIS into the community. Meetings with the local government and county government were also crucial. CADIS workers were able to meet and interact with the local community with ease.
Subsequently, all stakeholders are involved in the various phases of the implementation. The primary stakeholder of this project is the local population of Salabani. To understand better their needs, resources, and capabilities, several stakeholder engagement meetings were held with the various groups in Baringo South. In this way, they were able to identify the target beneficiaries of the programs.
Orientation to the project was held with the local community members to help them understand the nature of the project and their crucial role within it. The aim is to make the population the driving force behind their development, managing to reach a certain level of technical skills that will make them self-sufficient in managing the project.
The local farmers' associations were assisted in registering to the government's social services, as this is a fundamental requirement of the Kenyan Ministry of Agriculture. A Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) was then signed between CADIS Kenya and the Baringo County Government, officially committing the parties to work together to pursue the project goals.