258869 Lessons learnt from voluntary drought and famine relief intervention in North Eastern Kenya

Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Muhsin Sheriff, Dr , Health, Co-operation for Health and Education Programmes, Nairobi, Kenya
Background: The North Eastern Region of Kenya has population of 2.3 million people mainly of Somali origin, patoralists, with high poverty, low literacy and life expectancy. Rainfall is scarce, with frequent drought. Refugees fleeing violence, drought and famine in Somalia have sought refuge her. Food and water is scarce and malnutrition has increased. While a lot of assistance was focused at the refugees, it was lacking in the neighbouring Kenyan villages. This paper demonstrates how good planning by individuals who got together as Co-operation for Health and Education Programmes (CHEPs) resulted in effective famine relief. Intervention and Results: Rapid resource mobilization, logistical preparations and linking with local contacts for needs assessment and ground preparations were key in planning. In the emergency phase of famine relief, CHEPs distributed over 140 tons of high energy food. It provides food to 13 boarding schools with children from poor pastoral families. The schools offset this against outstanding tuition fees. In the recovery and rehabilitation phase CHEPs distributed seeds and mentored 100 new farming households, restocked goats in 25 households who had recently started farming, rehabilitated 305 wells, dug 50 wells. It sponsors students from the worst hit villages, and three women's groups for income generation activities. Lessons learnt: Relief efforts by small well managed groups can rapidly reach beneficiaries during famine. It is important to seek advice and work with local contacts on needs and methods. Recovery and rehabilitation efforts, and long term programmes, should follow to improve community resilience to future shocks.

Learning Areas:
Administration, management, leadership
Diversity and culture
Program planning

Learning Objectives:
To demonstrate how good planning by individuals can result in effective famine relief efforts.

Keywords: Hunger, International Public Health

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: I am the lead for the projects described in the abstract.I have authored articles in peer reviewed scientific journals and presented at international conferences including APHA. I have worked in HIV and nutrition research for Harvard school of public health and Columbia university projects.
Any relevant financial relationships? No

I agree to comply with the American Public Health Association Conflict of Interest and Commercial Support Guidelines, and to disclose to the participants any off-label or experimental uses of a commercial product or service discussed in my presentation.