Frequent natural disasters, many of them climate change- induced, and associated conflicts bear very heavily on the most disadvantaged people in Kenya, and particularly on the women and children. Pragya is committed to addressing the issue through immediate response to human emergencies as well as longer-term solutions to enhance the resilience of the communities to climate change and improve their management and sharing of natural resources.
Climate change has meant frequent and severe drought in the countries in the Horn of Africa, pushing millions of children and adults into hunger and malnutrition. More and more people are struggling to meet their basic needs of food and water or fleeing their unproductive lands and flocking to areas where resources may be available. Food and water insecurity is increasing and malnutrition rates have spiked to highest levels in several years. Most water sources have dried up, many rendered unfit for human use. Pastoralists in the region have been the worst hit - their herds stolen by rival groups or weakened and died due to the drought. As resources dwindle across the entire region the threat of conflict grows ever more acute.
Pragya Kenya’s disaster management programme is primarily focussed on slow-onset disasters in the form of severe water-stress facing communities in the arid and semi-arid lands (ASAL) of Turkana, Laikipia and Samburu counties, and the associated episodes of drought that are increasing in frequency and severity in a region deeply impacted by climate change.
In this context, Pragya’s approach is twofold. Firstly, we have conducted in-depth research on the nexus between climate change, resource stress, and displacement and conflict in the arid and semi-arid lands in Kenya. Findings of such research have been shared to enhance understanding of issues in civil society and stakeholders.
Pragya works in the medium to long-term to reduce water stress in the region through a combination of targeted initiatives focussed on water harvesting, retention, and purification, including protecting revitalised water-sources through eco-fencing and eco-sanitation structures, reforestation work, developing natural rock catchments and other measures for rainwater harvesting, whilst simultaneously educating communities in local water management. Secondly, Pragya Kenya is also mandated to respond to episodes of drought; in periods of especially dire food and water shortage, Pragya may raise funds to provide emergency relief in the form of urgent food supplies with a focus on child nutrition, as well as the installation of emergency water tanks for community and school use. In such situations, Pragya would coordinate as appropriate with other NGOs and humanitarian agencies.
GEOGRAPHY / LOCATION
Pragya's work on managing slow onset disasters has been concentrated in the arid- and semi-arid lands (ASALs) of Turkana, Samburu and Laikipia counties in the Rift Valley region of Kenya.