You are here

Preventing disaster in Kenya

As humanitarians, one of our roles is to save lives when disaster hits. It’s also our role to ensure communities have the tools to stop crises becoming large disasters.

Through our transformative charity work in Kenya, communities are starting to achieve this.

World Humanitarian Day takes place on 19 August every year. According to the UN, it’s a day to “celebrate humanity and the spirit of people helping people.” In Kenya, we’re living up to this spirit by helping communities prepare for natural disasters. 

World Humanitarian Day gives us an opportunity to reflect on what it means to assist people in need across the world. Every year, thousands of people are given life-saving assistance in the wake of disasters like floods, droughts and conflict. 

In Kenya, Concern Worldwide has responded to natural disasters, such as the worst drought in 60 years, which devastated communities across the country last year.

Communities taking charge

The people most affected by disasters are always the poor. For example, in Haiti, the people worst affected by the earthquake were those living in the slums. 

It doesn’t have to be this way. Communities can take charge. They can build their resilience and the poorest people can improve their lives and protect themselves from the devastating effects of disasters.

Preparing for disaster

To do this, we’re looking at new ways to help people across Kenya prepare for disasters like drought. We’re encouraging communities to analyse the problems they face and find solutions. This approach has in some cases completely transformed the ways communities think. For too long felt they did not have the power to change their own future.

Transforming lives

Years of drought in Kenya have resulted in many people losing their animals and their ability to earn a living. So, our teams and partners are working to make communities more resilient to drought. Irrigation schemes have transformed dry land into vegetable plots, providing families with income and a more diverse diet. By developing solutions to their long-term problems, communities are transforming their own lives and futures. 

Role of humanitarians

As humanitarians, one of our roles is to save lives when disaster hits. It’s also our role to ensure communities have the tools to stop crises becoming large disasters. Through our transformative charity work in Kenya, communities are starting to achieve this.