The Food Security and Nutrition Improvement intervention in Western Kenya came at a time when the country was reportedly 400,000 MT in deficit on the main staple crop. This resulted from the fact that 4 million people were in dire need of food aid after the country was hit by its worst drought in 37 years and was expected to worsen. Malnutrition prevalence was reported widely in the country, especially among young children.
A baseline survey was conducted before rolling out the program and impact assessment conducted for evaluation purpose. During the project period, many lives were transformed for the better, many lessons learnt and experience gathered and shared with other players in the industry.
The three-year project, in partnership with the Catholic Organization for Relief and Development Aid (CORDAID), of the Netherlands impacted the livelihoods through:
The primary target beneficiaries in this program included the smallholder and entrepreneurial farmers, and local service providers. Other stakeholders included government officials and financial institutions. Our primary approach targeted diversification to more nutritious diets and improvement of income levels. Improvement in the economic status increases demand for diverse diets. ROA empowered communities to increase awareness on the dangers of both chronic and hidden hunger, among other health issues.
A major recommendation was that going forward, more attention needed to be paid to economic engagement through high value agri activities and markets.
We at ROA continue to support the local authorities in implementing community development initiatives. With regard to food systems we continue to help smallholder farmers to diversify into nutrient-rich African Leafy Vegetable (ALVs) and other indigenous food crops
Rural Outreach Africa (ROA) partnered with the African Agricultural Technology Foundation (AATF) to promote Drought TEGO™ maize hybrids, a water efficient maize variety in the four counties of western Kenya: Kakamega, Vihiga, Busia and Bungoma.
ROA is a partner in the implementation of the Global Environment Facility (GEF) and Alliance for a Green Revolution in Africa (AGRA)-funded Sustainable Land Management (SLM) project, in Kakamega, Vihiga and Nandi counties of Western Kenya.
The Alliance for a Green Revolution in Africa (AGRA)-funded soil health project dubbed Integrated Soil Fertility (ISFM) was implemented from 2011 to 2014 for phase one, and 2015 to 2018 for phase two.
A pilot research project looking at human-centred design approaches in addressing the labor burden of ageing smallholder farmers in Kenya by improving the design of farming tools.
The project mainly concentrated on Corchorus olitorus (Jews-mallow) Crotaloria brevidens (Sun hemp), Gynadropsis gyanandra (black nightshade), Amaranths ssp (amaranths) and Vigna ungiculata (Cowpeas). An impact assessment in the last year of the project revealed that 70% of the project beneficiaries were women, and 12% youth farmers.
The project was initiated in 1998 with the generous support from the Headley Trust, UK ( one of the Lord Sainsbury’s Trusts) and it envisaged to ensure that: community members from Butere/ Mumias district access clean potable water, better health and sanitation, clean environment, and better protected and utilized riverbeds.
ROA in collaboration with Gatsby Foundation-UK set up the Shikunga HIV/AIDS Resource Center in 2003 in Butere sub-county. This was a community-initiated project derived from the need by the local community project management committee to respond to challenges posed by the HIV/AIDS pandemic.
In October 2018, ROA distributed sanitary pads to girls in a few schools in Kakamega County as a menstrual hygiene intervention to reduce school absenteeism. ROA staffs Doris, Makeba and Andala presented 99 packets of pads to classes 7 and 8 girls in Emukangu primary school.