Empowering Our Communities
Marsabit County is located in Northern Kenya bordering Ethiopia to the North and North east, Wajir County to the East, Isiolo County to the South East, Samburu County to the South and South West and Lake Turkana to the West and North West. The county is vast with an area spawning 70,961.3 sq km and a current estimated population of 310,000, while 2009 Census recorded a population of 291,166 (151,112 male and 140,054 female). The county comprises of four (4) sub counties (constituencies) namely, Saku, North Horr, Laisamis and Moyale. The poverty level of the county is significantly alarming as evidently shown by surveys conducted in this country. The five poorest counties in terms of mean expenditure, four are in the North (Mandera, Wajir, Turkana and Marsabit) and the last is in Coast (Tana River). Kenyans living in the ASALs are generally poor Marsabit county included, which greatly limit access to education, healthcare, sufficient food, and the capacity to diversify their livelihoods.
This prevailing poverty situation in pastoralist communities is propelled by poor rainfall patterns, poor soil conditions coupled with lack of alternative livelihood opportunities especially for rural marginalized and vulnerable groups including women and youths. Community in which the organization operates practices culture which exclude girls and women who get pregnant before formal marriage from any decision making forum and participation in the discussion of most development meetings which leads to social exclussion. As a result of such marriages a fraction of a community are disadvantage because they are denied the basic provision of life. They are stigmatized, traumatized and distressed because of the general biased environment in which they find themselves in. The project will address through traditional elders on social norms and barriers to women and girls empowerment by minimizing and eventually eradication inhibitive cultural practices. By implementing the proposed activities the beneficiaries and larger communities are empowered to address gender based violence and other harmful practices that undermine the rights of women and girls. The women will also undertake the effort of establishing income based projects which are cost effective and viable. This will ensure that beneficiaries become the role models and take the supervisory role in ensuring ownership and sustainability. The organization effort is to promote the economic and social empowerment of women through the formation of self-managed and self-sustaining business enterprises which in turn will raise the beneficiary’s status quo. The project will enable women to become powerful agents of economic and societal transformation within their communities.
The project aim is to reach the poorest of the poor women for creation of diverse livelihood, increase resilience and reduce vulnerability. Women in Marsabit County have been faced with a lot of economic challenges because they lacked several opportunities from education, health, culture, political and property ownership, therefore the project envisaged holistic development approaches to empower rural women of Marsabit County.