|dc.description.abstract||The IFSP-E PRA exercise took place in July through to August
and ended with a one week ZOPP Planning workshop in September.
The PRA exercise served as an end to a long process of having
a community based programme in Eastern Province (Mwingi and
Makueni Districts) which began with a Baseline Survey on
Nutrition and Health earlier in the year (May). The PRA
exercise was to help give qualitative data to the quantitative
results of the survey.
The PRA process began with a theory training session for the
partners who were to get involved in the programme in one way
or another. This was followed by ten days of field work where
village workshops were held.
The village workshops formed the basis for the PRA exercise.
These were facilitated by the team members with team leaders
drawn from ACTIONAID Kenya and PREMESE.
Results of the village workshops indicate that there is a high
degree of food insecurity in the area and this has mainly been
caused, by various factors e.g. reccurent crop failure due to
drought or inadequate rain and poor or depleted soils. The
historical profiles show these recurrences and the trends too
'strengthen this fact.
The area has several institutions working there, both local
and external. However, these institutions do not seem to have
a positive impact on the lives of the people otherwise their
standard of living would have improved. The approaches they
are using for development do not seem to,be appropriate for
empowerment. Most of them have created dependency in the
people. The local institutions however keep the people
together as they try to solve their own problems.
The Gender framework of analysis shows that women are
overburdened by reproductive work while men are the
stakeholders in productive work. However the men are involved
in the community activities by proxy through their wives. It
would be important to note that the men should be involved in
the decision making process for the community based
The seasonalities have shown that. .01ere is a relatively high
level of diseases in the communities especially during the
rainy season, a time when people need to work in their farms
and, yet they are also compounded with food shortages. Animal
diseases seem to be prevalent too and this makes livestock
production and management difficult due to inadequate
'resources - money, knowledge and resources
People in the areas visited work very hard in their farm• yet
the output of their labour is not commensurate to their
income. This is attributed to the fact that crops are sold
immediately after harvest. Reasons given for this were need
for money and also to get rid of the grains due to high pest
food destruction. This suggests that there is a problem with
post-harvest handling and storage. Most village groups
suggested that they should begin community food stores /to
counter the problem of post-harvest sale which causes food
It was found that almost all the people in the area live below
the poverty datum line. Very few can be said to be self
sufficient in food. Even those who are said to be self
sufficient are still affected by the other problems e.g.
inadequate water for domestic and livestock use, diseases and
general lack of social amenities.
Farming practices in most of these areas are still
traditional. The people still practice shift cultivation -
they move to new farms after every three seasons and this has
affected the environment adversely. Most of them, though they
have domestic animals, do not use manure in their farms and
this has affected yields. Shifting has also contributed to
deforestation and a general lack of fruit trees since these
need constant care. Education in better farming methods is
Poor health status of the people seems to be a problem due to
inadequate health facilities in the area. Few or no such
facilities exist and where they do (Miyukoni), they have no
drugs. Thus peoples health status is poor. This could also be
attributed to poor nutrition and lack of access to food and
the use of it, hence the need for pre-nutrition education is
Water problem seemed to be a key problem in all the four
villages visited. This is due to lack of big enough dams which
could retain the water during dry spells. Various modes of
providing water were discussed and each community came up 'with
its priority mode.
It is important to follow up what the communities suggested in
'the CAPs to help solve their problems each according to their
priorities, needs and capacity with assistance from IFSP-E and
other partners in the region.
As IFSP-E continues with the work the communities need serious
awareness raising programmes and training for empowerment.
These trainings would be for group leaders in animation,
mobilization and leadership skills as well as' conflict
management in groups. This would help build the internal
capacity of the communities for sustainability.||