December 2 2011
AUDIO - Smart solutions for Kenya's needy pastoralists
Hilary Atkins tells how rain and SOS Smart cards bring relief to Marsabit
The long haul to recovery begins as rains replenish stocks - Photo: M. Peru
02/12/2011 – Water tanks are full across northern Kenya and pastoralists are overjoyed as rains finally arrive. While livestock numbers gradually replenish SOS Children's Villages provides relief with the help of technology.
Those affected by the recent famine in Marsabit included 3,000 children who continue to receive three meals per day as part of our school feeding programme. In addition, SOS Children's Villages provides medical supplies to support local health services that have been overwhelmed by the crisis. In the months ahead, building up stocks of food and animals is the priority for almost 2,000 families in Marsabit.
Livestock, the lifeblood of the economy - Photo: M. Peru
Over 80 per cent of agriculture in the Marsabit area is based on pastoralism. Unfortunately, many have lost most - if not all - of their donkeys, camels, goats and cattle as a result of the recent drought. Their trading assets depleated, interim support was vital. The SOS electronic smart card now helps the community support itself by proviing food and essential supplies while pastoralists strive to replenish their livestock.
SOS Smart card provides dignity to widowed pastoralist - Photo: Tommy Standun
Smart solutions to hunger
Hilary Atkins is visiting Marsabit to see for herself how SOS Children’s Villages Kenya has employed technology to distribut food and essential supplies in the most effective way possible. In the audio interview she describes how the highly successful emergency programme has stimulated the local economy by engaging with local merchants while also managing to preserve the dignity of those in most need.