“Over one third of the population still lives under the international poverty line and social, economic and gender disparities remain.” — World Food Programme
Life in Kenya – Wajir County
- 48.5 Million population
- 35.6% of the population live on less than US $1.90 per day
- Inhabitants concentrated in four villages (Bulla Elmi, Bulla Abdiaziz 1, Bulla Abdiaziz 2, and Bulla Hareri) are ethnic Somalis
- Over 70% of the population derive their livelihood chiefly from livestock and livestock production.
- 2.9% rapid population growth – food insecure families live in rural areas and depend on daily agricutltual labour for income
To improve access to basic social, health, WASH, and educational services, as well as safe houses; expand economic opportunities, and enhance environmental management for communities in Wajir County.
UMR’s Stages of Rebuilding follows a 6-step process:
- Education: Rehabilitate and restructure local schools
- WASH: Build boreholes to make water more accessible
- Housing: Construct mud houses
- Primary Health Care: Build medical centers in schools
- Environment: Build eco-friendly solar systems and eco-san toilets
- Community Committee: Community engagement through committees
Adopt-a-Village Project (AVP) Approach
The Adopt-a-Village Project (AVP) implements a holistic approach toward the overall livelihood improvement in Wajir County through synchronous development efforts in health, water & sanitation, education, housing, energy and environmental management, and community participation.
AVP covers four villages in Wajir County:
- Bulla Elmi
- Bulla Abdiaziz 1
- Bulla Abdiaziz 2
- Bulla Hareri
- Elmi Primary School (shared among the villages)
AVP is an effort to develop village-level capacity toward meeting the SDGs, as part of an integrated community-level development strategy to end extreme rural poverty. This strategy is in line with the recommendations of various U.N. sectoral monitoring commissions to eliminate inequalities (especially the urban-rural gaps) in service delivery, and to “leave no one behind”. As such, we aim to bring together the best parts of development thinking in terms of local knowledge and commitment to sustainability in order to apply a new approach to poverty alleviation.
UMR’s AVP First Steps:
- Contract Surgeries
Between the 25th – 27th of February 2020, an ophthalmologist from UMR led an eye team that screened 300 patients. Out of the tested patients, 134 qualified for and received free cataract surgeries (77 female & 57 male). The remaining patients received the necessary medication to treat their eye conditions.
Another 300 patients were treated as outpatient cases and provided with eye medication, reading glasses, protective sunglasses, and health education. The 103 who were unable to receive surgery due to the limited time frame and resources were provided with interim treatment like eye drops, ointment, and eyeglasses, and were placed at the top of the registration list for the next eye clinic.
- Water Wells
UMR also built two shallow wells in two villages, Maygag and Star Wario. The shallow wells serve 300 households, ensure clean water, improve essential health, increase hygiene levels, and ultimately will develop alternative livelihood opportunities. The water wells will regenerate the arid lands of their environment, so they can produce alternative sources of food security and income that would result from an overall better health outcome.
- Orphan Protection
UMR distributes vouchers to orphans and their caretakers and will continue to do so quarterly. This sponsorship is a vital lifeline for the orphans, many of whom are in families where the assigned guardian earns very little. Our intention is to ease the financial burden for not just the child, but the entire family as well.
b UMR will be distributing over 17,000 of children backpacks filled with school supplies and books.
UMR delivered two 40ft. containers of assorted medical supplies valued at $2 million USD to Wajir County, Kenya. The medical shipment consisted of facial masks, gloves, pain relievers, diabetic and cardiovascular medications, wheelchairs, hospital beds, among other items.
Immediate improvements in holistic livelihood conditions will enable the community to regain self-reliance, improve their standard of living and continue to maintain such standard with locally-driven community efforts once the project is completed.