COVID-19 Lifeline for Vulnerable Families in Laikipia

160 vulnerable families benefit from 3,000 shillings’ monthly cash transfer from HFH Kenya for a period of 6 months amidst dwindling incomes for most families in Kenya due to Covid-19.

In March 2020, Kenya confirmed her first case of Covid-19. Days after that first announcement by the ministry of Health, Cabinet Secretary Mutahi Kagwi reported sustained local transmission of the virus with the epicenter being Kenya’s capital Nairobi. To mitigate the spread of the virus within the country, the government implemented several interventions among them school   closures, mandatory quarantines, countrywide night curfew, and partial lockdowns in the hotspot areas. What this meant was reduced to no incomes for a sizable number of Kenyans, this raising the vulnerability levels of most households in the country.

As part of our disaster response, Habitat for Humanity Kenya identified 160 vulnerable families in Laikipia County drawn from our Vulnerable Group Housing program. Here we introduced a monthly food grant through a series of cash transfers with the objective being to ensure these families are cushioned from the economic impacts of Covid-19 and in the very least be able to  put food on their table.

The program which ran for a period of 6 months was implemented in 6 locations namely; Muikima, Kariunga, Naibor, Marura, Majengo and Kandutura.

LOCATION CTP (Cash Transfer Program) Beneficiary PDM (Post Distribution Monitoring) Beneficiary
NAIBOR 93 32
MUKIMA 10 3
KARIUNGA 15 4
MARURA 14 4
KANDUTURA 25 8
MAJENGO 3 1
160 52

    

According to a Post Distribution Monitoring (PDM) report done by HFH Kenya to show the efficacy of the program, 100% of beneficiaries confirmed receipt of the 1st to the 4th tranche of kshs.3000 cash distribution respectively. The money was distributed through M-pesa mobile money platform and disbursed through the Kenya Commercial Bank (KCB).

Money distributed to beneficiaries was sufficient to cover household food needs for 98% of the respondents’ households. The number of Meal per day and proper diet increased for 35.2% of the respondent households since the cash distribution started.

The report however revealed that 90% of the pastoralist community that is beneficiaries from Naibor and Kandutura location used all the money and did not consider saving. Majority of non-pastoralist community, on the other hand, that is beneficiaries from Mukima, Marura, Majengo and Kariunga made small monthly savings from the 3000shillings cash assistance received. They invested in poultry for eggs and as way to start a small income-generating project.

Improved relationships for spouses with the female as the Cash Transfer Program beneficiary were noted largely because the burden on the husband to be the sole breadwinner was lifted. The result was less quarrels and tension among couples that were witnessed before when the husband could not provide.

While the project was largely successful, findings from the report showed that the amount of money the beneficiaries were supported with is not enough to fully cover the household food needs due to other competing family needs particularly due to high morbidity and the fact that the cash interventions are being implemented on beneficiaries who don’t have any other option apart from HFH Kenya’s cash intervention.

Food security is a major challenge for most people living in Laikipia due to the impact of Covid-19 and the harsh weather condition of the area. The report recommended, communities be educated or be informed on their rights to raise complaints as well as the available complaint and feedback mechanism channels apart from the community representatives.

Increasing the cash transfer value to meet the food basket value and other alternative food assistance and/or livelihood support should be sought to address the need of the communities. On our part, Habitat Kenya will collaborate with other stakeholders to address the deteriorated food security situation in the region and increase the numbers reached by this cash intervention.

Recommendations

  • Sensitization of beneficiaries is necessary to ensure proper utilization of money issued so that they invest it into pressing needs of the households.
  • Providing the monthly cash entitlement of the household to women of the family will maximize the use of the cash to the most pressing and essential needs of the households, in our case, food commodities.
  • The savings component is essential for sustainability, the findings of this report therefore notes that beneficiaries receiving cash support should be educated on small savings mechanism and simple budgeting.

 

Related

Resilient Ada

resilience /rɪˈzɪlɪəns/ the capacity to recover quickly from difficulties; toughness.…

Read more