IOM has received USD 1 million from Japan to support a project that aims to enhance community stabilization for mobile populations and communities that host them in Northern Kenya.
The project was launched on 14 April by Japanese Ambassador to Kenya Tatsushi Terada and will be implemented in close cooperation with the local (county) governments of Turkana, Marsabit, Uasin Gishu and Garissa.
Turkana County is currently grappling with drought and an influx of refugees from South Sudan. The targeted counties have also had to contend with severe flooding, landslides and recurrent inter-communal conflicts.
About 30 per cent of people in the region are dependent on food aid in the course of a normal year, and conflict and sudden changes in the environment can have an immediate and devastating effect on their lives and livelihoods.
This project will contribute towards building the resilience of vulnerable mobile communities through improved human security. This will be achieved by addressing their shelter needs and improving small-scale infrastructure, such as livestock markets and water treatment systems, to support their livelihood activities.
Speaking at the launch, Ambassador Terada underscored the need to improve the livelihoods of women and youth in the region.
“Kenya’s government is tackling inequality and poverty through (its) Kenya Vision 2030 (development blueprint). This project will support that effort by improving the resilience of pastoralists affected by natural disasters and conflicts, and providing emergency aid to improve human security. It will offer practical, appropriate and affordable help, but will also give local communities the knowledge that they need to improve their lives by themselves,” he said.
The project will also emphasize the importance of peace and livelihood creation opportunities with the aim to reduce resource-based conflict. There will also be a focus on the special needs of women and young people.
Japan has funded IOM projects to enhance peace-building and livelihood opportunities for migrants and host communities affected by natural and man-made disasters in Kenya since 2009.