Kenya / East Africa update 2019

Connecting Business initiative Secretariat • 16 March 2020
Report in group East Africa

Disaster Risk Reduction and Preparedness activities in 2019

HPPP convened workshops and conducted a landscape assessment to redefine the platform's value proposition in addressing manmade disasters, aiming to scale up private sector engagement in the area. 

HPPP together with its members partners (including businesses, NDOC, UNDRR, UNDP, WFP) lobbied for and supported ND(R)MA in Isiolo County on the International Day of Disaster Risk Reduction with a 3-day awareness raising event in mid-October. Isiolo was the first County to develop a County Disaster Risk Management Policy, which at that time was at the County Assembly awaiting debate. Also, in Isiolo County Climate Change Fund Act 2018 is operational and seen as a critical tool for more effective drought response. 

In 2019, in Kenya there was no legal framework for DRM as the National Disaster Risk Management Bill (DRM) 2017 was still pending debate at the parliament. This bill seeks to establish the much-awaited National Disaster Risk Management Authority (NDRMA) with the mandate for coordinating the implementation of the National Policy for Disaster Management in Kenya. 

Fires in high density urban settlements have continued to be a serious threat with substantive impact on local SME and business continuity as well as the wellbeing of the most vulnerable community members, including children. HPPP's member (Slum Child Foundation) in collaboration with a local business (Thermal Fire East Africa Ltd.) conducted fire drill awareness raising in Korogocho / Nairobi with school children, teachers and community members in October to enhance community preparedness. 

Disaster Response and Recovery in 2019

In October alone, the floods in Kenya affected more than 144,000 people in 25 counties across the country. The Government’s National Disaster Operation Centre (NDOC) confirmed that at least 17,000 people had been displaced and 48 died due to the floods. This had followed months of delay of long rains (usually between March-May) or below average rains due to tropical cyclone Idai having redirected moisture away from the East Africa region. HPPP provided updates to its members on the flood situation in East Africa and Kenya in particular. The HPPP Chair also engaged with County Government officials. Members of HPPP, including WVKenya, UNHCR, Equity Bank and NDRMA provided relief support to affected populations. 

At the end of May 2019, the total population of refugees in Kenya was 476,695. Almost half of the refugees in Kenya (44%) reside in Dadaab, 40% in Kakuma and 16% in urban areas (mainly Nairobi), alongside 18,500 stateless persons. In 2019, HPPP members Eneza Education, Safaricom and other education partners continued to implement digital education solutions for recovery and protracted crisis response to vulnerable refugee children in Dadaab and Kakuma camps / settlements and vulnerable host community children. Through the 'Shupavu291' online application Eneza Education provided bite-sized curriculum content on SMS for primary and secondary school learners, as well as teacher refresher courses to help in effective delivery of learning outcomes. Learners could access content from any phone, helping them learn at their own pace, and providing supplementary learning aid to what is taught in class. In early 2019 about 2,500 remedial teachers and learners participated in the programme.