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A week in response: Oxfam and the Kenya food crisis

Around 3.75 million Kenyans are affected by the current drought and food crisis. Oxfam is operating in the counties of Turkana and Wajir, as well as in the Dadaab refugee camps of Ifo II, Ifo III, and Kambioos. Here are some of the highlights of our work over the past week – during which Oxfam supported over 260,000 pastoralists and refugees with essential water, sanitation and hygiene, as well as desperately needed cash transfers. In total, Oxfam has helped over 1 million individuals in its food crisis response in Kenya since the launch of our emergency appeal in July.

Ekimat Maraha, who lost all her livestock in the drought, receives her monthly cash amount. Photo: Caroline Berger/Oxfam
Ekimat Maraha, who lost all her livestock in the drought, receives her monthly cash

Turkana

Oxfam engineers flushed two boreholes and repaired hand pumps in Narengo and Lochoredome, ensuring access to clean, safe water for 5,800 people. Construction is underway of pit latrines for internally displaced people (IDPs) in Laoreng’ak. Oxfam’s water, sanitation and hygiene (WASH) activities in Turkana have benefited over 40,000 people since 1 July.

Oxfam began the second monthly cash disbursement this week, providing 3,000 Kenyan shillings (currently about $30) to 1420 families – about 8,520 people. This helps support people’s long-term livelihoods and ability to buy food and other essentials.

Wajir

Oxfam partners are delivering water every week to over 80,000 people in 30 sites across Wajir. Each person receives approximately 6.5 litres per day. At 15 of these sites, Oxfam this week delivered public health training to help communities keep jerrycans and the local environment clean.

Our cash grant distribution also continued here this week, supporting a total of 14,983 households in 129 locations to date. Oxfam aims to reach a total of 20,350 registered families in this round of disbursement.

One of 78 tapstands – each with 6 taps – Oxfam has built so far in Dadaab. Oxfam installs drainage systems at each tapstand to ensure that standing water does not spread water-borne diseases. Photo: Oxfam
An Oxfam tapstand in Dadaab

Dadaab

This week Oxfam staff constructed 158 toilets and 71 trench latrines in Ifo II, Ifo III and Kambioos camps. Water coverage for refugees in the three camps exceeds SPHERE standards – globally agreed standards for humanitarian responses – by 3-15 litres per person.

Populations in these camps grow weekly as refugees are relocated from other overcrowded camps and the unsafe outskirts. Oxfam currently supports over 59,000 refugees in Dadaab.

The photo (right)  shows one of the 78 tapstands – each with six taps – that Oxfam has built so far in Dadaab. Oxfam installs drainage systems at each tapstand to ensure that standing water does not spread water-borne diseases.

Chee Chee Leung of Oxfam Australia recently spent some time in Dadaab to see the work Oxfam is doing. You can watch her video diary here:

Chee Chee video diary East Africa from Oxfam Australia on Vimeo.

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Written by Amanda Lundy

Amanda is working in Oxfam's Kenya programme as information officer for the emergency response to the drought

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