The Diocese of Meru has been implementing emergency relief operations to the most vulnerable households to re-establish livelihoods and enhance food security through collaborations with her partners who include; Christoffell Blinden Mission (CBM), Trocaire, Caritas Kenya, Food & Agricultural Organization (FAO), World Food Program (UN), Catholic Relief Services (CRS) among others. Some of the emergency and rehabilitation activities in Tharaka North and South Districts, Tigania East and West, Igembe North and South districts and Meru South districts are:
Some areas of Igembe, Tigania, Buuri and Tharaka districts have witnessed successive rainfall failures prompting immediate response. Christoffell Blinden Mission (CBM) funded caritas with an objective of increasing food accessibility to the community especially those living with disabilities to rescue them from starvation. Other groups targeted were the chronically ill, children, lactating mothers and households with minimal income.
2500 Chicken, 275 goats and 5000 grafted mango seedlings benefited more than 3,000 households among them 883 persons with disabilities whereas the rest were lactating mothers and children
Those vulnerable groups also received assorted seeds (green grams, sorghum, cowpeas and amaranth and farm tools like jembes, fork jembes, mattocks, spades etc.Others are provision of nursery establishment materials (Tigania East,Tharaka Igembe North),and construction of greenhouses(Tharaka districts)
Caritas Kenya partnered with caritas Meru to respond to the July-Dec 2011 food crisis in Tigania, Buuri and Igembe North districts after a long dry spell due to failure of adequate rainfall to support crop production in the regions.
Irish charitable organization Trocaire has a humanitarian relief that rescues the communities during crisis with aid ranging from food, healthcare and water in times of drought, floods, earthquakes and other natural calamities.
Trocaire has partnered with the diocese of Meru caritas to assist communities in the semi arid areas of Tharaka, Meru south and Igembe north get back to their feet after drought that is often experienced in those areas due to rainfall failure. Drought response projects, disaster risk reduction, Arid and Semi Arid Lands Drought Resilience Project, emergency and livelihood are some of the projects implemented.
“We are currently carrying out various initiatives targeting to reduce disaster and the vulnerability of rural livelihoods like restocking of goats in Igembe North and Tharaka districts, establishment of nurseries and planting of trees, constructing water and soil conservation structures, and Gitogo- Kamaindi water project, the only water project of its kind in the entire semi arid division of Igamba Ngombe”, JOEL KITHURE-livelihood programs coordinator.
A few years after the initiation of the restocking project there has been recorded substantial success stories. Some beneficiaries especially in the driest part of the diocese, Tharaka, have as much as over 80 goats, bred from the five given five years ago.
(Unconditional Cash Transfer (UCT), Cash for Assets (CFA), Food for Assets (FFA)
In Tharaka, Cash for Asset/Food for Asset programme,A WORLD FOOD PROGRAM(WFP) funded project started in 2010 with the goal of protecting and rebuilding community’s livelihoods for improved resilience through creation of assets.
The target areas for the project at the start of programme in October 2010 was 10 locations and later up scaled to 17 locations with a total of 118 projects sites identified to harbour various RHS which include: concrete dam, green houses, fishponds, rain water micro –catchments like trapezoidal bunds, semi-circular bunds, negarims and zai pits as well as soil and water conservation structures like terraces, check dams among other activities.By April 2012, of the 118 projected sites, 102 sites were identified and implemented.
The project targeted vulnerable families to work on their farms and demonstration sites. The demonstrations acted as learning sites which were identified by the community and were mainly in schools and other public land. There was a 20% provision for the non workers in all the groups comprised of the aged, expectant or lactating and the chronically ill.
The program benefits 5,000 households translating to around 30,000 beneficiaries. The FFA/CFA beneficiaries are involved in various farm activities to promote asset creation and environmental conservation initiatives and they are paid in cash which they can utilize by buying food, seeds, farm tools or basic household items.
Unconditional cash transfer was introduced in Igembe district following August-December 2011 emergency as a result of inadequate rainfall in the areas. A total of 33,000 households (200,000 beneficiaries) benefited from the Sh. 1,800 for three months to buy food.
Caritas Meru partners.