RACIDA’s target populations in Kenya, Ethiopia, Somalia, and South Sudan survive largely on traditional livelihood practices such as (agro)-pastoralism, leading to a subsistence life intimately linked to the environment. Changing climate patterns and hostile weather have strained these practices, as drought events followed by flash flood events, and displaced persons become more frequent. Areas of priority during disasters have encompassed Water, Sanitation, and Hygiene (WASH), food provision, and health. To meet the increasing needs of our target communities impacted by frequent disasters, RACIDA has focused one of its goals on providing humanitarian assistance through reliable and timely responses to emergencies, as well as improving coordination with relevant stakeholders (partners & communities).
In response to drought and flood emergencies in Ethiopia and Kenya, RACIDA has facilitated interventions such as cash transfers to protect household assets, food vouchers to improve household nutritional intake, water trucking to provide access to safe water, and provision of non-food items (NFIs) such as mosquito nets to prevent vector borne illnesses.
MANDERA COUNTY, KENYA and DOLO ADO, ETHIOPIA
During the prolonged 2016/2017 droughts, communities in Mandera were faced with extreme water shortages, forcing them to make long treks to neighbouring communities in search of water. Main water points were concentrated with livestock and people, leaving water user committees with the difficult challenge of managing them. Hygiene standards around water points were poor, subsequently affecting water quality. RACIDA with the support of Diakonie Katastrophenhilfe and World Jewish Relief was able to carry out water trucking, hygiene promotion trainings, environmental clean up, and provision of aqua tabs to areas of Malkaruqa, Choroqo, Farjano, Guba, Jibal, Tarbey, Malkamari and Boqonsar in Mandera.
- During the period of March – December 2017, we were able to provide a total of 12,048 households in Mandera County (72, 288 individuals) with their daily water requirements as per the sphere standards.
- During the period of April – December 2017, we were able to provide a total of 13,922 households in Dolo Ado (83, 532 individuals) with their daily water requirements as per the sphere standards.
- Cases of water borne diseases reduced compared to the previous drought as a result of more people having access to treatments such as aqua tabs
- Trainings for water user association and committee representatives on water handling, water point management and environmental clean-ups improved the general community sanitation standards, with no cases of waterborne diseases being reported during the offseason.
- Households that were taking between 6-24 hours to draw portable water reduced their traveling time to 0-3hrs as a result of water trucking.
“Before water trucking, I used to travel to Hulow with my elder son-aged 12 years for a distance of 13 km to collect just 30 liters of water. Sometimes I could hire a motorcycle with 300 Kenya shillings to ferry 40 litres of water for household use. But once RACIDA started trucking water to the community water point (Barkad), it only takes me 30 minutes to draw water and am happy because I have more time to do casual work and the little I earn I use it to buy food for my children.”
DISPLACED PERSONS RESPONSE
An increasing phenomenon in the horn of Africa is the growing presence of displaced persons as a result of conflict and climate change impacts. In March 2018, displaced persons from Ethiopia settled in Dambala Fachana camp in Moyale, Kenya. Based on undertaken assessments, a key need identified was improvement of the safety and security of asylum seekers in the camp as other sector areas were already covered. RACIDA with support from World Jewish Relief and START Network, distribute 850 solar lamps/ lanterns to 850 households.
- Improved lighting in the camps allowed families to rest through the night with a sense of safety and security.
- Cases of Sexual and Gender Based Violence reduced as women and girls could use the latrines during the night “armed” with these portable lanterns.
- Families could also prepare meals during the night under improved lighting
“I would like to thank God for this intervention of solar lantern kits as it has helped and changed my life in this refugee camp. As a refugee I could not afford money to buy candles or paraffin light on daily basis. Of a particular appreciation is one night where the bright illumination from the solar lantern kits saved my two-year-old son from being stung by a scorpion that had climbed into shelters. I killed the scorpion. To add, I can recharge my phone battery as many times as possible without fear of drainage the charge.”