The core objective of RRDO is to improve the livelihoods of families in our region of operation, thus all our other programmes (WASH, environment, education and healthcare) impact directly and indirectly on the ability of these families to secure basic necessities. Animal husbandry is the primary source of livelihood for most families in the host communities.

Due to unforeseen circumstances however, for instance severe droughts and the refugee crisis, sustaining a decent livelihood has become a challenge. Livestock mortality due to severe droughts cuts across all income levels, with some communities suffering a loss rate of up to 90%. Apart from scarcity of water, livestock diseases are also a major killer of the livestock. Most herders do not have appropriate knowledge or drugs to prevent, control or cure these diseases. During these tough periods, many are forced to devalue their animals to avoid losing them.

RRDO together with partners and sponsors has been providing alternatives which enhance and sustain the livelihoods of the affected communities through the following means.

Agriculture

Communities are introduced to farming as an alternative to just rearing livestock. In normal circumstances, farming is close to impossible in the region due to the harsh weather conditions and lack of water. RRDO together with our sponsors assist the community in confronting these challenges through building greenhouses, and continued water projects around the region.

RRDO along with partners and sponsors is also involved in procuring seeds of high value horticultural products including onions, kales, water melons, tomatoes, dania, green pepper, red pepper and more. Communities form groups, in many occasions youth or

Distribution of seeds is done accordingly, but not before the groups are, with the help of the Ministry of Agriculture, given adequate training and demonstration on best practices to be able to sustain production. Greenhouse farming has also become a success for beneficiaries of this program. Support and general monitoring is carried out. Farmers are also provided with pesticides, fungicides and herbicides and also guided accordingly. RRDO will also monitor the harvests, incomes and all relevant statistics, and document them.

The produce that is harvested could be put up for sale, or consumed. Through agriculture, communities are able to better their food security, improve nutrition, provide activity for youths especially, and provide a source of income. The knowledge acquired in the process can also be considered an asset, as it could be passed down to younger generations.

Livestock

As their core source of livelihood, the efforts by RRDO and partners to develop the status of livestock rearing in the communities can is key.

Water is a very important element in livestock keeping, for the animals and animal food. It is well known that the main source of water for the communities has been rain, which has been diminishing to as little as 10% of normal rains in recent years. RRDO has embarked on providing alternative supply of water to support livestock rearing in the communities. Water troughs are connected to boreholes, easing the access to water by animals. The communities are also trained on water management skills, with local technicians also being provided knowledge on how to maintain the facilities and are equipped with toolkits to assist them.

In some of the households, the loss of animals might be unpreventable, and many of them are left staring poverty in the face. RRDO along with partners comes to the rescue of affected families, with livestock restocking and livestock distribution programs. Restocking happens when there isn’t enough animals in the area, and have to be purchased from elsewhere, for instance from another county. In the distribution program, livestock is purchased from other community members, and distributed to affected families. Goats are identified as the livestock of preference in all communities due to their resilience to drought, low consumption of livestock feed, fast reproduction and highly nutritious milk.

Community members will also receive support in vaccinating, disease control and treatment of animals. Construction of livestock produce facilities is also important in keeping livestock healthy and well fed. In addition, herders receive marketing support to ensure that they get the best value for their animals.

With financial support from Catholic Relief Services, 872 most vulnerable households in Dadaab benefited through the Dadaab Host Community Livelihood Project through voucher- Livestock exchange. The villages that benefited in this intervention were Bulakher, Weldoni, Madahagsi, Welhaar, Kumahumato, Alikune, Bahuri and Hagarbul.  A total of 4,500 goats were distributed to the beneficiaries and thus restoring their livelihoods.

 

 

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