Almost 18,000 vulnerable people are benefitting from an Islamic Relief project to tackle poverty in Kenya’s North Eastern Province.

The latest intervention by Islamic Relief in the area – where many rely on small-scale or subsistence farming – aims to improve livelihoods for the most vulnerable families.

Working along the rivers Daua and Tana, we are addressing the root causes of poverty by boosting self-sufficiency in food production and income generation. The project includes work to improve irrigation and other support for farming families.

Cash for work programmes are giving poor people the chance to earn and improve facilities for their community, with training also on offer to enable them to set up successful small enterprises.

A cleaner, sustainable water source for Korondille village

Amina Osman, 35, and her family are amongst those to benefit in Buna Sub County. She lives with her four children and her mother in Korondille village.

Amina at the Korondille village water pan.

Amina at the Korondille village water pan.

“Since I am divorced, my family relies on my mother’s income,” said Amina. “She runs a small kiosk in town. However, I supplement this by selling the milk from the few goats that I have.

“Two of my children go to school, and in the evening we all head to the water pan to fetch water,” said Amina. “It takes 40 minutes to collect the water and come back. Everyone in the area depends on the water from the pan.”

The Islamic Relief project has seen the water pan fenced in by members of the community, who were paid for their efforts. The quality of the water has improved, with the water source also now maintained sustainably by the community.

“Now that the pan is fenced, animals are no longer allowed into the pan. It’s now cleaner and there no more animal droppings by the water pan. Members of the community are asked to contribute money to pay for the volunteer watchman [who is] tasked with taking care of the water pan.”

Improving community resilience

To reduce diseases in the livestock upon which poor families depend, local veterinary offices are also receiving support to carry out animal health activities. As part of this, mass de-worming and vaccination campaigns are being delivered through the project.

With the effects of climate change often hitting the poorest communities the hardest, Islamic Relief is also empowering local communities to reduce the impact of natural disasters – and making sure that adequate early warning systems are in place.

The two year project is due to complete at the end of the year, and is amongst a range of development schemes delivered by Islamic Relief in Kenya.