European Union External Action

Coronavirus response in Kenya - Roundup of stories from the field -11 September 2020

11/09/2020 - 07:26
News stories

Welcome to our bi-monthly roundup of stories from the field as the EU and its partners work together to support Covid-19 response across Kenya. Here we will share news, stories, and project updates.

Facilitating Safe Trade Across Borders

Florence Atieno and Robert Ogola are among the cross-border traders in Busia who have been adversely affected by COVID-19. They’ve lost a huge chunk of their customer base and their revenues have taken a tumble since March when the first case of COVID-19 was reported.

“Right now we don’t have business because of COVID-19. We don’t have stock to sell since we don’t have access to Uganda to bring the stock. We don’t have any business right now,” says Atieno. Robert also expressed that that business has been very low and the prices of commodities have increased while the quality of commodities has drastically dropped.

Through the Safe Trade Emergency Facility programme, TradeMark East Africa (TMEA) is working together with the European Union in Kenya to keep trade going at the border point for people to get the goods, food and medical supplies that they need. The initiative is also working with the private sector to adapt to the new environment, especially through the production and distribution of PPEs and hand sanitizers to the border point workers like traders, immigration officials and health workers.

TMEA also rolled out an app for truckers that will allow for electronic COVID-19 certificates, tracking off the trucks for monitoring of the trade corridor  efficiency and bottlenecks and it was also help with contact tracing if the need arises.

FAO Kenya Land Governance Programme

In the Sere-Olipi community in Samburu East, Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) Kenya has fully adopted social distancing as a key part of its training through the Land Governance Programme. Participants are expected to fully stretch out their arms to achieve the 1.5-meter distance away from the next participant during training on the development of community rules and regulations. In Samburu, FAO Kenya is implementing the EU-supported Land Governance Programme geared towards improving land governance and securing natural resources in communal lands in Kenya.

Meetings and engagements with the community members are done under a tree or an alternative form of shade, in the open, to ensure free flow and circulation of air. In the Kirimon group ranch, for example, the sensitisation of interim community land committee members is done in a cross-ventilated hall to guarantee the free flow of air. At the same time, participants observe social distancing, wear masks, and use sanitizers before getting into the workshop area.

Nandi County COVID-19 Sensitisation

To mitigate the spread of COVID-19 in the area in Tinderet in Nandi County, FAO Kenya officers through the EU-supported Land Governance Programme have increased awareness on existing precautions to prevent COVID-19 transmission. This is being carried out to equip community members residing in these fragile areas with the adequate information on safeguarding themselves against the spread of the virus and  the provision of accurate and balanced information to counter harmful misinformation and rumours.

The Land Governance Programme seeks to encourage farmers to plant environmentally friendly vegetation so as to maintain greenery and prevent soil erosion along the slopes in the area. Tinderet is  vulnerable to rampant mudslides due to the heavy rainfall currently being experienced in the area; a  situation has been made worse by poor land use management along the escarpments.

Innovation for Climate Change!

ClimateLaunchpad (CLP) is the world’s largest green business ideas competition with a mission of unlocking  the world’s cleantech potential that addresses climate change. Its  objective is to support early stage businesses to grow their ideas into viable businesses that respond to the effects of Climate Change and its been held for the past four years in Kenya, through the Kenya Climate Innovation Centre (KCIC)

The CLP has innovated through their traditionally physically held competition and pitching competition through  holding their competition online fully online. The competition which is now at its regional final stage will see two Kenyan teams competing against eight other teams from the African region.Pinekazi and Ecobora are the two teams representing Kenya at the  #ClimateLaunchpad regional finals. Pinekazi is crafting sustainable eco-friendly shoes from pineapple waste while Ecobora is using wooden pellets as a source of biomass fuel.

Eco-friendly innovation is the key to addressing climate change and youth employment resulting in sustainable economic development.

PACS Art Competition

Art has been long documented as an avenue for therapy and impact. The Probation and After Care Service (PACS), facilitated by European Union in Kenya and the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC) through the Programme for Legal Empowerment and Aid Delivery in Kenya (PLEAD) came up with an art competition as a way of incentivising and motivating the children and as a way of shining a light on the work that PACS does. The art competition acts as a sign of the changing face of the criminal justice system and its focus on reform and rehabilitation of child offenders.

The art competition is based on the children sharing their experiences, feelings and emotions about their experience in conflict with the law, and what it’s like to go through Kenya’s criminal justice system.

The theme of the art project is: ‘Probation: A New Beginning’ and the sub themes under it are a) change b) lessons learnt c) visions of the future and d) COVID. The winning entries in this competition will be displayed in an exhibition.

The competition was launched through a limited seating physical event  and joined in by probation houses and other guests from both government bodies, development partners and nonprofits, through video streaming.

KIMAWASCO Water Supply to COVID-19 Mitigation

Alice Haji is a trader at Charo wa Mae Market where under the COVID-19 Emergency Response Programme,Kilifi Mariakani Water And Sewerage Co. Limited (KIMAWASCO) has been supplying water to existing water tanks at the two entrances to the market. Ms. Haji, who also is the Chairperson of the Charo Wa Mae Market Environmental Committee, expressed that she was thankful that KIMAWASCO ensured that the tanks had water. Alice said” We are happy with the supply of water, handwashing soap and sanitiser, however I would like to appeal to the relevant authorities to increase their supply of the items to meet the demand of the market.”

Mariakani Police receive sanitation boost through water supply

Chief Inspector Geoffrey Muchai joined Mariakani Police Station as the Commanding Police in Charge (OCS) of the station in April, 2020. When the COVID-19 Pandemic hit Kilifi County, the police station did not have access to piped water, which posed a huge challenge in ensuring proper sanitation and hygiene. With the dire need for water in the Police Station, KIMAWASCO installed a 10,000-litre water tank within the police station for purposes of handwashing. Chief Inspector Muchai thanked WaterFund, KIMAWASCO and the European Union for their donation and also requested for additional water tanks to meet the demand for water within the police station as they receive large numbers of members of the public.

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