Right to food and Sustainable Livelihood in Kenya

This is an advocacy and resilience building project amongst the people of the North and western parts of Kenya. (Isiolo, Kakamega and Kisii) The goal of the project is to reduce chronic hunger and poverty by employing ecologically relevant mechanisms to promote sustainable food production. Specifically JHC will;

  1. Build and strengthen the capacities of select target groups[1] on social justice
  2. Facilitate the creation and firming of local advocacy actions promoting alternative thinking
  3. Establish among target communities green technological interventions that increase food production and protect environment from adverse global warming.

In order to actualize the aforementioned objectives JHC project team will undertake the following activities

  1. Escalate the “Hunger Survey” by pursuing some of the recommendations particularly strategies to reduce water scarcity and extreme poverty
  2. Hold Arid and Semi-Arid legislators’ forum to draw the attention of the nation on the need to access water[2] as a precursor to right to food.
  • Build capacities of target communities (religious leaders, CSOs and Solidarity groups) on human rights issues especially the right to food, water and basic needs
  1. Develop training and advocacy materials to facilitate training, advocacy and lobbying campaigns.
  2. Promote advocacy campaign events locally, nationally and internationally.
  3. Pilot green technologies in farming.

The project has been designed to respond to three important aspects of sustainable development.One is to build the capacity of target groups including representatives of select CSOs, Religious leaders of different faiths and solidarity groups of youth and women to underscore the importance of human rights based approach on matters of service delivery through public education events; the reason for targeting religious leaders is three fold; they are a voice of reason and often find ready audience with policy makers, hence leaders and negotiators of change; they can rally people behind an issue and find grassroots support; and they are able to network to create a national attention using their bigger communities, in the same vein enable people understand the subject at hand more effectively through the religious platform. Secondly JHC through the project will encourage the adoption of relevant green technology to fortify food production; and thirdly is to institute an advocacy and lobbying campaign to help entrench change in policy, practice and priority. Cross cutting in actualizing the intended outcomes, the project will develop advocacy materials in the form of video documentaries. The video documentaries which have proved effective in rallying people around issues, will help in policy discussions as they will showcase case studies from the grassroots. Another documentary will detail issues of water, and the third one on food security and poverty (real time stories). The latter two will be used in training and parish, working team and CSOs conversations.

The expected outcomes in this project include the following;

  1. Select communities experiencing sustainable livelihoods.
  2. Ecological development that is supportive of food production
  3. Policy structures sensitive to the plight of marginalized communities quest for water and food.

The project is implementable in three simultaneous and juxtaposed phases. The first requires building and strengthening of capacities amongst target community audiences on human rights based approaches in social justice. In this context JHC will build on the results of the hunger survey (2014) and specific outcomes that were documented during the previous projects advocacy campaigns. In this phase JHC will work very closely with interfaith networks especially the Catholic dioceses of Garissa and Isiolo, which will eventually facilitate the Arid and Semi-Arid legislators’ agenda (forum). The interfaith networks (religious leaders) provide leadership on the parish and other community conversations, especially in the development of grassroots proposals on change. Further JHC staff will ride on the goodwill of the solidarity groups (founded under the previous phase project period) to access groups of young people and women with the zeal and commitment to be part of sustainable change.

Phase two of the implementation will include piloting and popularization of the green technologies amongst the select target groups. In order to arrive at a group or groups committed to the course, JHC will continue working through partnerships with the Dioceses of Isiolo and Garissa. The project staff will however, tap in to the skill and knowledge reservoir of the county governments regarding green technology. The purpose for working with county government structures is to allow for the generation of practical information that can be replicated by other stakeholders. In addition, the target communities would have established a technical reference point even after the project has phased out.

Stage three of the project requires that JHC team facilitate an advocacy and lobbying strategy. This strategy, relying heavily rely on CSOs and Religious Institutions active in the region, will among other things campaign for the strengthening of bottom-up approach in water and food governance. Specifically lobbying that rights based approaches be employed in prioritizing water and food not as humanitarian aid but fundamental service by the state regime. This stage shall involve a lot of data and proposal collection from communities, especially young people and women. The data collection at the parish and from religious platforms, will act as the cradle for community preferences in terms of investments that can increase access to water. Having collected such data, a working team[3] that would be established by the project, will advance the conversations with relevant county and national policy bodies like the sector committees in the County Assemblies, as well as Legislators from regions with perennial water scarcity.