People experience poverty in many ways around the globe – some are suffering from poor health, while others may suffer from food insecurity. Lack of education can be an issue, just like inadequate living standards, income deprivation, disempowerment and violence. The violence may have natural or human causes, or both.
Because these problems are multi-faceted, they can only be solved with in a multi-dimensional approach to change. To ensure that the programs are relevant and that there will be a lasting impact, Dorcas works directly with vulnerable individuals, their communities and the wider societal structures.
In Kenya, these are Dorcas’ main focus points:
- Sustainable livelihoods;
- WASH Alliance;
- Disaster Risk Reduction (DRR) including climate change adaptation;
- Value Chain Development which includes employment and income;
- Community Based Care and Protection.
Climate resilience in Kenya is defined from the adaptation point of view. That is why Dorcas aims to slightly change the modus operandi, so that resilience is felt at all levels in the country, including the lower levels. Dorcas believes in justice for all and especially for those who are living in extreme poverty. Unfortunately, this subset of the community is hit the hardest by the climate crisis.
Therefore, Dorcas’ Department of Climate Change has developed a Climate Change strategy that seeks to implement the National Climate Change Action Plan (2018 – 2022) with the sole purpose of ensuring that Kenya meets its target of reducing global greenhouse gas emissions by 30% in 2030, as outlined in its Nationally Determined Contribution (NDC) submitted to the UNFCCC as a commitment to the Paris Accord (2015). Additionally, Dorcas has committed herself to the principles of sustainable development putting in perspective the Africa Development Agenda 2063 aspirations and the East African Community Climate Change Policy (2011). In her programs, Dorcas will apply the principles of mitigation combined with adaptation to climate change to ensure that dignity of the people is restored in the sectors of the energy transition, water, forestry and agriculture.
In the past, Dorcas has implemented projects with the integration of climate change adaptation in the counties of Marsabit, Turkana, Machakos, Makueni, Kajiado, Siaya and Kitui. The future programming on climate change is going to cover Siaya, Makueni, Kitui, and the Kajiado counties. These counties are considered hotspots for climate change because of the impact of the severe droughts and floods on the livelihoods of the local communities.
The organisation is currently trying out the adoption of clean energy solutions in a one-year pilot project (March 2021- February 2022) in Siaya and Kitui. The project has the following objectives:
- To establish self-sustaining eco-friendly communities which are resource efficient and resilient against negative climate effects;
- To establish climate change and green energy related economic ventures in the target communities;
- To upscale the uptake of low-cost energy efficient methods among target communities;
- To provide a platform for lobbying, advocacy, engagement and information dissemination on climate change adaptation.
Project title: Siaya Water and Sanitation Project
Partner organisation: North Gem Community Development Programme
Donors: Dorcas Aid International, RVO, Maji Milele Limited and County Government of Siaya
The overall objective is sustainable access to drinking water and sanitation. The project targets 108,500 people with access to water and sanitation by December 2023. Regarding the environmental conservation component:
- Capacity building of water schemes management boards to protect natural resources through mapping and protection of upstream catchments, intakes and wetlands within their areas of jurisdiction;
- Capacity building of water scheme boards and communities on Integrated Water Resource Management (IWRM).
Project title: Kitui Honey Value Chain Project
Partner organisation: KAMAKI Farmers’ Cooperative Society
Donor: Dorcas Aid International
Sector: Value Chain Development
The project contributes to 2 long term objectives:
- Sufficient economic resources throughout the year;
- Communities are food and nutrition secure and are adapting to climate change. The project targets 4,200 households to engage in the honey value chain and aims to use bee keeping as a way of environmental conservation.
With regard to the environmental conservation component:
- In partnership with Kenya Wildlife Services, selected farmers from the target area will be allowed to undertake bee keeping on the buffer zone between the game reserve and communities living next to the reserve;
- In partnership with Kenya Water Tower Agency, there is a plan to use the identified water towers within Kitui South for bee keeping to boost forest coverage;
- On their farms, the target farmers will plant indigenous trees that attract bees and they will undertake surface water harvesting;
- The target farmers will be trained in apiculture and environmental conservation.
Project title: Machakos Rural Development Programme
Partner organisation: Redeemed Gospel Church Ngangani
Sector: Sustainable livelihoods and food security
The project purpose is increased food security, nutrition and incomes for the farmers that are taking part in Machakos. One of the five outcomes of the project was improved environmental conservation among target farmers. Key activities in environmental conservation are:
- Water harvesting for farming and environmental conservation (tree planting);
- Tree planting – both indigenous and fruit trees;
- Conservation of agriculture;
- Soil conservation through terracing and the creation of gabions;
- Increasing the capacity of target farmers in the field of environmental conservation and conservation agriculture.
- Over 2,120 farmers were trained in conservation agriculture and food security;
- Over 2,100 farmers and their families planted 212,755 indigenous and fruit trees;
- Farmers created 13,906 metres of terraces on their farms;
- As part of the disaster risk mitigation and increasing water supplies for farming and for environmental conservation, the project constructed:
- Ø 6 dams;
- Ø 110 sub-surface dams;
- Ø Over 600 water pans.
Location: Turkana County
Project title: Turkana Water & Sanitation Programme
Partner organisation: Catholic Diocese of Lodwar
The Turkana Water and Sanitation Programme was funded through a grant from the Dutch Government in 2005. The project provided approximately 1,250 people with clean drinking water and ensured that 408 households had access to sanitation. In order to accomplish this, ten shallow wells were dug and five dams of different sizes and two earth pans were constructed. The project focused on afforestation and combined environmental conservation with climate change adaptation. As a result, 976 households engaged in tree planting. Three communities were supported to start tree nurseries and they are selling seedlings to other community members.
Project title: Wikivuvwa Water & Sanitation Programme
Partner organisation: Wikivuvwa Development Action
The programme focused on the following results of provision of clean drinking water:
- Provision of access to sanitation;
- Training on health, hygiene and sanitation and improving community environmental care.
Over a period of five years, 1,461 households were provided with access to drinking water and 1,565 households received access to sanitation facilities. This was accomplished by the construction of 28 dams of different sizes (among them two rock dams) and three shallow wells. The programme also provided slabs for pit latrines for 1,072 families, 241 VIP latrines were constructed. After they were trained on sanitation, 252 households improved their latrines on their own initiative. The programme trained over 72 Community Health Workers to train beneficiaries on health, hygiene and sanitation practices. Approximately 11,200 indigenous trees were planted by 432 households in their compounds and in public wood areas.
Project title: Kitise Rural Development Programme
Partner organisation: Kitise Rural Development
The project provided 3,825 households with clean drinking water and access to improved sanitation. The partner organisation is a community based organisation that enables high community participation and commitment to the programme. This programme is based on a multi sector approach, therefore a climate change component is integrated as well. The partner promoted use of clean energy, tree planting, conservation agriculture, terracing and dry land farming as part of climate change adaptation. Through the project, 1,584 households adopted clean energy (use of energy saving stoves as well as solar) and 1,651 households planted an average of 121 indigenous trees.
Project title: Protracted Crisis Programme, Moyale Kenya
Partner organisation: Direct implementation
Sector: Disaster Risk Management
The purpose of the project was to reduce conflict, migration and food insecurity through upscaled agriculture production, diversified food and income sources and increased community management of disaster risks in the Moyale region in Ethiopia and Kenya. It had four outcomes and one of these was an improvement in the community led disaster risk reduction and preparedness.
Key activities were:
- Natural resource management (by-laws and agreements between ethnic groups), reduction of deforestation (e.g. life fencing, fuel saving stoves), soil and water conservation measures and life skill training (including peace themes);
- Increased preparedness with regard to drought related disasters through the establishment of rangelands, early warning systems, construction and water system management.
- Community members were trained in environmental conservation as part of disaster risk reduction;
- Established, trained and put in place structures for six community managed disaster risk reduction (CMDRR) committees;
- Constructed three water pans to increase access for farming;
- Established (mapped, protected, cleared and planted with highly nutritive indigenous grass varieties) 110 hectares in four different communities;
- Supported six communities to develop grazing land by-laws;
- To ease pressure on pasture and grazing areas. To minimise environmental impacts of over grazing, the project supported 900 households to engage in alternative livelihood activities, horticultural production and off-farm activities such as small scale businesses, tree nursery business, camel milk value chain, savings and loans associations and self-help groups.
Project title: Loitokitok Water and Sanitation Project
Partner organisation: Shokut Naretoi Community Project
The overall objective of the project was to reduce the number of water borne incidents, water related diseases and to improve the livelihood of the target community. The project provided 13,089 people with clean drinking water and 13,021 people had access to improved sanitation and hygiene. The project resulted in improved environmental care and nature based livelihoods for the target community. As a result, the project supported the establishment of seven forests and community woodlots. It also supported 133 people to engage in nature based income generating activities, such as bee keeping and tree nursery development. In addition, the project supported the protection of two water catchment system in the target area and it is promoting energy saving stoves.
Project title: Gem Water and Sanitation Project
Partner organisation: North Gem Community Development Programme
The overall objective was to reduce the outbreak of diseases through provision of sustainable clean water, better sanitation and basic hygiene. The project provided 13,346 people with clean drinking water. Now, 35,065 people have access to improved sanitation and hygiene. The project included environmental care and natural resource management.
- Supported mapping of 26 natural resources, including small water catchments;
- Supported development of six Water Resource Users Associations (WRUAs);
- Restored 16 water catchment systems.
21 October 2021