H.E Mr. Yo Ito hands over a certificate to one of the graduates. The objective of the training, was to provide the youth with technical skills in production of ISSB to enhance their livelihood, promote affordable housing and champion environmental protection by using locally available materials such as sand and soil. | Photo by IOM Kenya
Through the ongoing Community Revitalization Programme (CRP) funded by the Government of Japan, 192 students from Dadaab host community graduated on 12 March in a colorful ceremony, upon successful completion of a month long technical training on the production of the Interlocking Stabilized Soil Blocks (ISSB).
ISSB is an affordable and environmentally sustainable alternative to fired bricks, made from soil stabilized with cement, compressed in manually operated machines, and dried in the sun. The intensive course developed the skills of host community youth on both theories and practical’s, covering all aspects of ISSB production and cooperative management skills.
The objective of the training, was to provide the youth with technical skills in production of ISSB to enhance their livelihood, promote affordable housing and champion environmental protection by using locally available materials such as sand and soil. The program is funded by the Government of Japan through IOM and in partnership with Peace Wind Japan (PWJ) in collaboration with Relief, Reconstruction and Development Organisation (RRDO).
Additionally, a total of 238 youth attended a five-day business management course touching on finance, accounting and marketing to help them market ISSB in the County. Of these, 20 participants were supported by IOM. In order to utilize about 6,400 ISSB blocks made by all training participants during the practical course, PWJ decided to improve the infrastructure of Haji Idriss Girls Secondary School, the only host community girl’s school in Garissa county established in 2014, by constructing a classroom, kitchen, store and twin pit latrine. The school has an enrollment of 99 girls.
The new school facilities will benefit not only the school but also the larger community by empowering the girl child by provision of safe and improved learning environment.
Speaking at the graduation ceremony, the First Secretary, International Cooperation Unit, Embassy of Japan, H.E Mr. Yo Ito said that the ISSB technology will stimulate the local economy with the demand of improving the quality of urban facilities of Dadaab and neighboringneighbouring areas.
“Of course it will contribute to the creation and expansion of job opportunities. Although, major progress has been made towards increasing access to education at all levels and increasing enrolment rates in schools particularly for women and girls, bolder efforts are needed to make even greater strides for achieving universal education goals,” he said.
The Dadaab Sub County Administrator, Mr. Aden Olat thanked the Government of Japan in supporting the training and construction of the school facilities, saying that the initiative will empower the girls.
“The assistance will definitely secure the future of the students. We thank the Government of Japan in supporting us in achieving the goal,” he said.
Meanwhile, under the Community Revitalization Programme, on 12 March, IOM donated 25 Panasonic solar lanterns to beneficiaries in the host community “off the grid”. The solar lanterns will assist the beneficiaries mainly light up their retail shops and homes. Additionally, IOM donated 12 cashboxes to host community beneficiaries who have received business development training and individual livelihood kits.
The CRP Programme is currently being implemented in the Sub- Counties of Dadaab, Fafi and Garissa Township. The CRP programme has three components namely Livelihood Support, Community Policing and Integrated Border Management.
To date, under the programme, IOM has provided a combination of initiatives that support business development training and income generation assistance to 75 vulnerable youth in Garissa. IOM has also implemented 5 Community Assistant Projects (CAPs), which include projects that provide access to clean drinking water, the construction of a milk shed for traders and upscaling capacity at the Garissa Vocational Training Centre through the donation of additional tools and equipment.
IOM’s ongoing support to Government of Kenya has also included trainings to 76 border officials in inter-agency coordination, document examination, fraud detection, counter-trafficking and countering human smuggling. In addition, training has also been facilitated on community policing to 20 community leaders, also including cascading training to each of the targeted Sub-Counties of Dadaab, Fafi and Garissa Township.