By Patrick Kibuku, Head of Program Kenya
Community managed DRR activities implemented by DCA & partners in the last 3 years in Turkana County, Kenya have been aimed at building resilience at community level. As part of community DRR action plan, a borehole was sunk in 2015 & installed with a sustainable solar pump, 2 water tanks and a 2.5 kms piping infrastructure to 2 villages in Lokipoto area close to the Kenya Uganda border. The water project has since been fully operational under community management and has reduced the need to cross over to Uganda by the local people in search of water and grazing. In Lokipoto, with the drought of current magnitude, the local community would have migrated to Uganda or survived on the expensive water trucking by humanitarian agencies. Mama Ripat (a local female sorghum farmer) summarises it as follows: ‘’we now have enough water for livestock and house hold use for our villages and even supporting neighbouring villages. Lokipoto has become a green oasis in the midst of drought’’.
More produce for local markets
The borehole has also allowed farming households to be more settled and spend more time in land preparation and therefore increase the area under cultivation as they prepare for the seasonal rains to plant early maturing sorghum crop. The farmers will be linked to World Food Program to sell their surplus grains that will be used in the refugees’ school feeding program operated by LWF. This has motivated farmers to increase production and produce for markets.
Reduction of border conflict
About 20 kms from the Lokipoto borehole water project, is the DCA supported Nalong’ole Water pan that is under rehabilitation/de-silting and expansion to double its water holding capacity to 64,000 cubic metres. This water will run from one rainy season to the next and further reduce the need for pastoralists to migrate to the neighbouring Uganda in search of water and pasture and therefore reduce cross border conflict related to scarce resources. This is also a part of the local community DRR action plan.
DCA Kenya is also supporting refugees to produce for their HH needs and for the current and emerging local markets. For the Kakuma camp refugees, back yard gardening is receiving acceptance as more refugees see possibilities and concrete results on its potential. This complements well in improving HH nutrition when combined with the dried fish initiative that links the host community fishermen with the refugee fish market.