FCA Kenya handing over emergency relief kits to families displaced by floods in west Pokot County, with the support of UNICEF Kenya in 2019.

Effective preparedness and response efforts are essential to minimize the adverse effects of weather events and and other humanitarian crises. With funding from UNICEF, FCA Kenya has developed a comprehensive approach to address the potential impacts of El Niño events on vulnerable populations in disaster-prone areas.

Comprehensive Contingency Planning

El Niño is a natural climate phenomenon that can lead to wetter conditions in East Africa.  As a result, rainfall during the October -December rainy season are predicted to be above average, which is likely to lead to flooding in various parts of the country.

FCA Kenya, in partnership with UNICEF, is planning to mitigate the impending adverse effects of the predicted flooding to the affected population.

Marsabit, Samburu, Baringo, and West Pokot have been identified as priority counties likely to experience flooding. Based on historical data, it is estimated that 54,000 people could be affected. FCA Kenya and UNICEF are therefore working together to develop contingency plans with various partners in these priority counties that can be activated in the event of flooding.

The plans will address the potential impacts of El Niño on the idenitified areas. This will include risk assessment, early warning systems, preparedness and response teams, communication, resource mobilisation, community education and engagement, and post-emergency assessment and recovery.

Emergency Response Supplies

FCA Kenya has positioned essential non-food items in high-risk areas to facilitate an immediate response in the event of flooding. These items include jerrycans, menstrual hygiene management kits, plastic buckets, and water purification tablets. Such emergency supplies are crucial in providing swift assistance to the affected population across the five counties.

Advocacy and resource mobilisation

FCA Kenya is actively involved in lobbying and advocating for funding to support El Niño preparedness activities. Collaboration with donors and partners is instrumental in securing the necessary resources for immediate and long-term interventions.

Prioritizing Water, Sanitation, and Hygiene (WASH)

Building on previous partnerships with UNICEF, FCA Kenya has expanded its water, sanitation, and hygiene (WASH) activities. These efforts aim to ensure safe water supply, sanitation facilities, menstrual hygiene management kits, and hygiene promotion in high-risk areas such as Samburu, Marsabit, and Garissa counties.

FCA Kenya is dedicated to enhancing the resilience of vulnerable communities to cope with the potential impacts of El Niño. This commitment is realized through training and capacity-building support for community members, health workers, and community leaders. These efforts equip these individuals to respond effectively to the challenges posed by El Niño. In this regard, FCA Kenya and UNICEF will support this communities till March next year.

Text: Daisy Onkoba and Duncan Kimuli