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Women walk for water in Marsabit county, Kenya


East Africa Crisis Appeal project

This project aims to build resilient pastoralist communities in Marsabit county, Kenya, to mitigate climate disasters.

Climate disasters and hunger in the Horn of Africa are becoming more and more frequent. Traditionally, a prolonged dry season used to arrive every three years and a severe drought every 10 years. During this decade, the drought of 2005-2006 has been followed by two consecutive dry spells and the 2016-17 drought in the Arid and Semi-Arid Lands (ASAL).

These repeated cycles of drought and erratic rainfall patterns have led to devastating crop failures, loss of livestock and a huge degradation of the natural resources, soils, water sources and pastures in the ASAL regions. In 2017, Kenya experienced one of the worst droughts, and many people lost their lives and livelihoods in Marsabit county. Livestock, which are the economic mainstay, succumbed to deaths in large numbers.

According to the Kenya Ministry of Water and Irrigation, a total of 2.7 million people are in urgent need of safe drinking water.

Key information


Marsabit county, Kenya


January 2019 to December 2020

Target population:

Primary target: pastoralists, agro-pastoralists

Secondary target: civil society organisations, teachers, county government officials, elected leaders and local administration.


Christian Aid East African Appeal

Funded by

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Christian Aid
Women fill jerry cans with water at their village borehole in Marsabit county.

Women fill jerry cans with water at their village borehole in Marsabit county. - Christian Aid/Elaine Duigenan

Women fill jerry cans with water at their borehole in Marsabit county.

Our approach

The project uses a participatory approach aimed at strengthening the resilience of pastoralist and agro-pastoralist communities in Marsabit county to cope with and respond to climate change and to recover from crises, while protecting their livelihoods and assets.

Some of the approaches include:

  1. Participatory Rural Appraisal (PRA) tools to assist communities to understand the root causes of their issues and develop short and long-term plans to address them.
  2. Self-help groups geared towards improved capacities of community-based institutions and livelihood diversification.

Other activities include creating a strong community accountability system in line with the core humanitarian standards, improved water infrastructure to ensure sustainable access to safe water, and strengthening the capacity of the Christian Aid partners to engage in advocacy spaces to deliver climate change policy.

Our aims

  1. Increased capacity of communities to progressively use PRA processes to generate their own community action plans.
  2. Improved capacities of community-based institutions through the SHG model and livelihood diversification.
  3. Improved accountability in the delivery of humanitarian and development packages integrated into county-level platforms.


  • A total of 24 Community Owned Resource Persons (CORPS) trained on PRA and capable of delivering the model.
  • More than 20 self-help group facilitators trained on the model and supporting groups.
  • Climate change adaptation policy developed and adopted by the county government of Marsabit, courtesy of the support from the East African Crisis Appeal project.
  • Village accountability committees formed in all the 12 villages where the project is implemented. A feedback from the community consolidated and tracker developed.
  • Project external assessment findings demonstrate community transformation as a result of the PRA and SHG models.
  • Three shallow wells protected, and three hand pumps installed including training of water committees to oversee the usage of the wells.
  • Christian Aid has also continued to engage within the ACT Alliance forum, having jointly developed the Emergency Preparedness and Response Plan (EPRP) we have been able to continue to provide humanitarian support in the county.


  • During drought situations, community members, especially men, move with their animals, which has affected participation in PRA and SHG activities.
  • Floods in the last quarter of 2019 affected most of the project villages especially in Moyale sub-county. Many livelihoods were destroyed by the floods, and some families lost animals to drowning and animal diseases. Moyale and North Horr are severely affected. This has also affected food security.

Find out more

Faith and her family in Kenya


We believe that unjust power relations are at the centre of poverty, so we aim ensure communities are able to understand and exercise their rights to health services, engage in inclusive markets, and be resilient to climate-related risks.

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East Africa Crisis Appeal project
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