Jaldesa, Marsabit-Kenya: The front yard of Fatuma Molu’s home is a hive of activity. To the center left, green leafy kales sprout from a kitchen garden adjacent to a cows’ shed with mooing calves and a conspicuous silo-like structure with bales of fodder. At the bottom of a gentle slope beyond the compound lies a 10 acre fenced rangeland fodder- farm; visibly, a group of youth is preparing the land ready for another season of fodder planting. Fatuma, 55 years and a widow is the chairperson of Jaldesa Sauti Moja Group - a community-based organisation with 40 members (38 female and 2 male). The group has found passion in fodder farming and its members are now reaping the benefits of selling hay and grass-seeds. “We sell a bale of hay for Ksh 300 to non-members of the group and Ksh 250 to the members. Additionally, 1 Kg of grass-seeds goes…

“We expect to harvest 60 bales of hay per acre from the rehabilitated rangeland. We are reaping double benefit by selling a kilo of grass seeds at 1,000 Kenya Shillings (10 US Dollars) while a bale of hay weighing 8kg is sold at 300 Kenya Shillings,” says Fatuma, chairperson of Jaldesa Sauti Moja fodder production group from Badassa. Jaldesa Sauti Moja Women group at Badassa was identified and supported through training, capital, fencing materials and grass seeds. This is one of the most proactive fodder production groups in Marsabit County with 40 active members who are very passionate about fodder production. A total of 675 kilograms of grass seeds were distributed to 115 willing members from three different groups. The group has already started harvesting seeds and hay. Fodder is available for sale and use during stress period. “We harvest the grass and remove the seeds before we prepare them…

“My life has stabilized significantly since the cash support activity began. I have paid my debts and I am able to buy food and water form my family,” says Roba Wario (28) who is one of the beneficiaries of emergency cash transfer to vulnerable and drought-affected communities of Marsabit County of Kenya. Roba is a mother of three children. She was born in Bubisa Ward of Marsabit County, this is where she still lives. She does not have any formal job. Her children need food but she can only afford one meal a day for them. She has received a cash allocation of 3,000 Shillings (equivalent of about 30 US Dollars). “Without the cash support, we would be sleeping hungry,” she says. On this day, she has bought maize flour at 70 shillings (0.7 US dollar) and pasta at 70 shillings. She proceeded to prepare ugali, a local delicacy made…

A public forum on climate change and adaptation was recently held in Marsabit town bringing together various self-help groups, local and county authorities, religious groups and residents of Marsabit town. The event enabled various stakeholders in Marsabit County of Kenya to come together and discuss pertinent issues relating to drought and climate change adaptation. In attendance was Kisilu Musya a climate change activist and global campaigner on climate issues affecting farmers in Kenya and East Africa. “We are all actors in the climate adaptation struggle. Our little activities combined contribute immensely in determining the direction our climate will be taking affecting future generations,” Kisilu explained to the audience. East Africa is particularly vulnerable from the negative effects of climate change. In Kenya, northern counties of Marsabit, Mandera and Turkana lie in the arid zones which face increasingly dry conditions linked to rising temperatures and less rainfall. These conditions threaten the…

Local communities in northern Kenya are adapting to climate change through different approaches in order to mitigate its harmful effects demonstrated most visibly through frequent cycles of drought in East Africa. Along the border of Kenya and Ethiopia, communities of Dassanach are reshaping their adaptation strategy by embracing a unique breed of goats that is more resilient to the changing conditions. The Galla goat, a strong breed of goat has a reputation for surviving droughts thanks to its higher resistance to opportunistic diseases that eliminate ordinary goats due to weakening body immune system. Compared to ordinary goats living among the Dassanach communities of Kenya and Ethiopia, the Galla breed boasts higher yield of milk.Pastoralist Community Initiative and Development Assistance (PACIDA) has partnered with Kenya and Ethiopia governments through the livestock departments and Social Development Coordinating Office (SDCO) to provide communities of Dassanaach with 198 Galla goats. The aim of the…

I have witnessed several distinctive changes in climate over the years. The droughts are extremely harsh while the rainy seasons come with flooding and destruction of property. People are finding it hard to cope with the two extremes,” says Huka Jirimo, 62, the Chairperson for Moyale Persons with Disability Group. Huka was one of 51 participants who attended the climate change adaptation policy workshop held at St Paul Conference Centre in Moyale on 2nd of December 2019. The workshop was organized by PACIDA together with Marsabit County Department for Water, Environment and Natural Resources Development. This is part of a wider dissemination and public participation campaign to enhance public knowledge and participation on county climate change adaptation activities. Huka has problems with walking and relies on crutches to support his body. He suffered from complex arthritis eight years ago and lost all abilities to use his legs. The persons with…

A monitoring visit conducted on 5th of November 2019 by partners Concern Worldwide, European Commission ECHO, Pastoralist Integrated Support Programme (PISP), ACTED and PACIDA provided key learning on the impact of mobile cash transfer during drought emergency response among communities of Lengima and Lekuchula zones of Laisamis Sub County in Marsabit County of Kenya. The joint visit also brought on board members of County Assembly for Korr and Ngurnit Wards of Laisamis Sub County. “Cash assistance has had a positive impact on my life” The visiting team from European Commission, ACTED and PACIDA interviewed Manpiam, 40, in Lengima village and learnt about her living conditions and livelihood options. She is a widow raising four children, her husband died from an illness two years ago.  “Before the cash assistance, I was begging neighbours for food support. I had no livestock and with no husband and no job I was quickly edging towards…

Learning is more effective and meaningful when learners can make use of a wider variety of scholastic equipment that enhance quality of instruction as well as ensure comfort of the learners. Most schools in Marsabit County lack of enough desks and chairs, leading to congestion and fatigue among the learners. Pastoralist Community Initiative and Development Assistance (PACIDA) supported by Kindermissionswerk distributes learning materials regularly to various schools in the Sub Counties of Laisamis, Moyale, North Horr and Saku of Marsabit County. School across the country of Kenya opened for their gates for the first school term of 2020 on 6th and 7th of January. For Tiigo School, 60 lockers and chairs were delivered for use. “The chairs and lockers help to improve the convenience of learning at school. The students can keep their books and pens safely because they have locks. Says Mujahin Abdi, 15 years old student of Grade…

At PACIDA, we believe cash offers several advantages over other forms of humanitarian aid. It is cost effective, often leads to a better use of resources, and has a positive effect of stimulating local economies. More importantly, cash is a flexible resource that empowers those in need by allowing them to prioritize their own needs. In this way, it is a much more dignified and respectful form of aid– two qualities that define everything we do. Meet Talaso Roba, a 40-year old mother of six who hails from Anchancha village, North Horr sub-county of Marsabit County. She says, “My dignity and self-worth have been restored as a woman. Even though the ravaging drought has been here with us since November of 2016, personally I have had to come up with adoptive strategies during this period to ensure survival of my family”. Ms. Talaso says that her children and husband are…

“We the warring communities living in Marsabit County, particularly the two major communities, remain eternally grateful for the tremendous assistance in terms of trainings on Peace, Resilience and Harmonious co-existence, PACIDA through Christian AID has given us in a bid to ensure peaceful co-existence, says Chukulisa Koyowa with a benevolent smile. “My name is Chukulisa Koyowa, I am 49 years old and a mother of eight children; 4 Girls and 4 boys. I hail from Turbi Division of Marsabit County. For a number of years, communities in Marsabit had never experienced peace until civil society organizations stepped in and started empowering us of how imperative peace is.” Growing up, Chukulisa never ever even once thought there ever would exist peace in her native land. She struggled understanding what the word meant in a long time, In fact, to her, peace was a luxury and a very remote affair to attain.…