Starting Off Right: Community Self-Assessment
Located in an arid/semi-arid region in the north of Kenya, the Igembe program is an offshoot of the Tigania program which has helped to enhance community resilience and year-round food security. The new program aims to build on the successes of its predecessor, including:
- Diversifying household income
- Farming methods that lower the risk of crop failure from drought
- Community stewardship of water, soil and forest resources
- Appropriate nutrition for young children
- Access to clean water
- Improved hygiene and sanitation
Together, local partner ADS-Mt. Kenya East and the target communities have completed one of the most important steps: a baseline survey of 201 households (evenly divided between men and women) and a community self-assessment called Participatory Rural Appraisal (PRA) that resulted in Community Action Plans. PRA is a highly successful tool that ensures programs address the real, stated needs and desires of participants for better buy-in and better outcomes.
During the PRA, participants identified lack of knowledge as a serious cause of low food production and a high vulnerability to food insecurity for many households. Other factors were long dry spells and farmers’ poor adaptation to the variability of the changing climate. The Community Action Plan includes organizing a hands-on Farmer Field school and training in Conservation Agriculture practices, livestock and poultry production, agroforestry, small business management, and planting fruits, vegetables, and other relevant crops.
While many aspects of the program have been put on hold due to the global pandemic, training sessions have already taken place and farmers are practicing what they’ve learned. As restrictions lift the work will begin to speed up, but it is a blessing that goals are slowly being met in the meantime.
Kenya Igembe Program
Led by World Renew and Local Partner ADS-Mt. Kenya East