Policies and Programmes in DRR
There is a global realisation that preparing for and coping with disasters is essential but is not entirely sufficient. DRR is highly cost-effective. One US dollar invested in DRR saves four USdollars used in response and recovery efforts (UNISDR, 2005). The National disaster profile for Kenya identifies floods and droughts as the main disaster affecting the country (UNDP 2004) .
During 2011, KRCS supported enhanced application of Community Based Disaster Risk Reduction (CBDRR) principlesin disaster management by providing assistance and training to community groups through Vulnerability and Capacity Assessments and drafting community risk reduction plans (Int.Federation VCA toolbox, 2007). Through the support of the Danish Red Cross, KRCS implemented Pilot DRR projects in Nyando Basin,Nairobi and Machakos.
In 2012, KRCS will focus on a holistic DRR programming that combines hazard-specific and multi-hazard approaches. Priorityfocus areas for DRR and climate change adaptation will include Drought Risk Reduction Programmes, Floods Risk Reduction Programmes and Urban slums Risk Reduction Programmes.
(i) Food Security and Livelihoods: KRCS Food Security Strategy for 2012 seeks to increase community resilience to disasters through strengthening/protecting livelihoods. The frequency of hazards has culminated to increasing levels of poverty and increased vulnerability, which are beyond the scope of short-term emergency responses. The most recent drought emergency was experienced in 2010/2011 leaving 3.7 Million people in need of food assistance (KFSSG Long Rains Assessment, 2011). The KRCS Food Security programme is thus an extension of the Risk Reduction Approach. The strategy was designed to guide KRCS activities that support households and communities to adapt to changing climatic and economic conditions affecting food security.
KRCS has successfully implemented pilot food security and livelihood projects, while focusing on empowering farmers through trainings, distribution of seeds, seedlings, farm inputs and irrigation pumps. KRCS has also distributed and installed a total of 260 greenhouses in schools and community groups that have shown immediate return on investments enabling schools /communities improve their diets and increase income. Farming has been introduced as an alternative livelihood in areas with increased pastoralist dropouts due to climate fluctuations with an aim of reducing people receiving food aid.
In 2012, KRCS plans to scale up Food Security and livelihood projects in mainly the ASAL region with a focus on Turkana, Tana River, Garissa, Mwingi, Yatta, Magarini, Ijara, Wajir , Mandera , Moyale and Marsabit. The projects will assist some 350,000 beneficiaries in the targeted areas through increasing land under irrigated agriculture, modern agricultural technologies such as the greenhouse that utilises drip irrigation, training of farmer groups and support in marketing. The programme will also look into support of water infrastructure to enhance dry land farming.
(ii) Early Recovery: Due to the Drought experienced in 2010, people in need of food assistance have increased. KRCS will continue to conduct Relief and Recovery operations under the PRRO (WFP) in 2012. Operations will cover General food distribution (Kwale, Garissa, Ijara), Cash for Assets (Kwale , Malindi ), Unconditional cash transfers (Koibatek , Lamu, Machakos) and Food for Assets (Kwale, Malindi ,Kibwezi , Tana River and Garissa). KRCS will also be engaged in unconditional cash transfers in Turkana, Garissa, Isiolo, samburu and Marsabit. The projects are geared towards improving nutritional status, injecting cash in the economy and improving on community assets in order to contribute to reduction of vulnerability to disasters.