KMET ENTERS PARTNERSHIP WITH KISUMU AND SIAYA COUNTIES

KMET, on 7th May 21, 2014, sat in a roundtable meeting with Siaya County Governor Hon. Cornel Rasanga. This introductory meeting was aimed at developing a rapport and forging a future working relationship between Kmet and the Siaya County Government.

Of major emphasis was the issue of maternal and child health and how to improve healthcare standards within the county. Even though it has the highest doctor density in the county, Siaya still suffers from the highest infant mortality rate. Kmet delegation with Siaya Governor Hon. Rasanga

Speaking, The Governor lauded Kmet for its continued delivery of properly targeted interventions and asked for help in delivering interventions to the high number of women that deliver through unskilled delivery (49%) “What the population needs now are homegrown solutions that promote sustainability, he said, because with devolution in place, development should be nurtured to grow from down all the way up; not the other way round.”

In a subsequent meeting, at the same venue, attended by Sicco van Gelder, Mechtild VD Hombergh from ParmAccess (who is Kmet’s technical assistance partner on Bima Poa) the main objective was to introduce Pharmaccess Foundation and its work to the county government leadership and identify possible areas of collaboration.

A combination of the strengths of Pharmaccess, Kmet and the County Government would be key in planning on how to achieve universal healthcare and sharing this with interested donors for support. Governor Rasanga suggested that his government could contribute some funds to match the donor’s contributions. He also noted that in future, it would be interesting to see people exchange farm produce for health insurance as this would improve their living standards.

The County Director of Health, Dr. Omondi Owino also emphasized the importance of re-introducing amenity (private wings) at Siaya District Hospital, Yala Sub County Hospital and Bondo Sub County Hospital to attract patients who can afford to pay for health insurance. The governor explained that a free healthcare system is still in people’s minds thus the need for subsidies supported by the contribution of the county government and the donor.

A similar meeting also took place on 15th May, 2014 between Kmet, PharmAccess and The County Government of Kisumu, represented by Deputy Governor Hon. Ruth Odinga, who pointed out that there is need to customize some of the best practices and apply them to Kisumu County to make it a champion among other counties in Kenya.Meeting with Hon. Ruth Odinga

The county leadership agreed that they would, as a starting point, look at revamping some of the amenity wings of public hospitals starting with JOOTRH using the Safecare Standards with KMET informing on the costing process. Sounding impressed with Bima Poa, the county officials mentioned that it would be great if KMET included public hospitals especially Victoria Hospital amongst their list of healthcare providers.

 

 

 

 

Article By: Joanne Rakwach

 

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KMET PARTICIPATES IN BBC ACTION MEDIA TRAINING

BBC Action Media makeshift radio station at the training venue..

KMET was last week represented at a lifeline communication training organized by BBC Media Action. This was a three day training that targeted aid workers, relief aid organizations, media practitioners and government/community leaders. The forum, which ran from 28th to 30th April 2014, trained participants on lifeline communications during disasters, i.e. handling communication issues to do with food, water, disease/healthcare and security to improve disaster response. KMET was represented by Deputy CEO and Programs Manager, Sam Owoko.

Incorporating practical work aided by real-life scenarios and dramatization, participants were trained on:
• How communication with disaster affected populations can help both communities and relief providers
• Information needs of populations at different stages of a crisis
• Designing communications activities
• Crafting and targeting messages
• The importance of consistent, accurate messaging
• The role of two-way communication: allowing people to voice their needs and share their experiences
• Channels and options for two-way communication
• Working with the media
• Coordinating with other relief organizations on communications with affected communities
• The importance of preparedness to communicate (e.g. writing it into the budgets, pre-allocating staff, building contacts and skills beforehand

The training was part of BBC Media Action’s ‘Preparation for Lifeline’ work, to improve the readiness of media and aid agencies to meet the communication needs of people affected by crises.

The participants

During the three day training, the need for critical information regarding missing family members, food aid, water and sanitation, security shelter and routine government update was emphasized as there usually is a communication breakdown during such times. Of importance, as noted, was the need to pass/Increase reach to practical and useful information that is also timely relevant and effective to affected communities and give them a platform to share feedback and concerns with duty bearers.

Other organisations represented at the training include: Red Cross Society of Kenya and World Vision International.

 

Article by: Joanne Rakwach

KMET’S VALUE ADDITION PROGRAM CHANGES WOMAN’S LIFE

KMET’s Urban Livelihood Project (ULSP) held a  vetting exercise amongst the beneficiaries of the Value Addition Program on Thursday 24th to 26th April 2014.

This was to verify and ascertain their eligibility for new equipment they’re supposed to be benefiting from. During the exercise, they also got a chance to see how the previously administered interventions (issued seeds, rabbits, chickens etc. And value addition training) have impacted on the beneficiaries’ livelihoods, boosted their incomes and impacted on the lives of the community in general.

The vetting process

The vetting process

SUCCESS IN OBUNGA
In the second largest slum in Kisumu City, Obunga, members from different Value Addition groups namely: Obunga Central, Kamakowa, Segasega And Kasarani gathered for the process.

One of the program beneficiaries is Christine Awino. Her face lit up as she happily thanked KMET’s Debra Otambo for what KMET has done for her and her family, “Japuonj an amor gi gima usetimona, tinde apuro nyanya kendo auso to chiemo be koro ok akosi” meaning; “I am impressed at how KMET has changed my life, I can now till my farm, sell the produce and even have enough to eat”

After a later visit to her house in Obunga’s Kasarani area by the Urban Livelihoods team, the story was finally put into clearer perspective, being mother of six and guardian to two more, she knows well what it means to struggle to make ends meet in Obunga slum, previously without any properly marketable skills or a steady job/business.

After attending a value addition training organized by the ULSP program in partnership with Concern Worldwide and its partners including Ministry of Agriculture, Lake Basin Development Authority, and Kisumu Industrial Research and Development Institute (where a total of 100 beneficiaries ,75 Females; 25 Males were trained on value addition and business skills from 30th September to 11th October, 2013), she saw the need to be economically independent.

Feeling empowered, she saw the need to implement what she learnt to benefit her and her family. She then chose to venture into agribusiness .So in January of 2014, with seeds acquired from KMET, she started tilling a small patch of land behind their small mud, grass-thatched house with the help of her husband and children.

Christine Awino(R) picking tomatoes from her farm

Christine Awino(R) picking tomatoes from her farm

Now after close to five months of farming she is already diversifying by planting pawpaw, passion fruit and sukuma-wiki. Fully grown pawpaw trees line the sides of her small garden almost ready for harvest and she even practices good farming methods like crop rotation and use of organic manure.

Even though access to water for irrigation is a major setback as the bore hole is a little far from her house, the garden produces around a crate of tomatoes every week which can fetch 3000 to 4000 shillings. School fees is no longer too big of a problem
Asepuonjora kalo aora kenda” she said to the urban livelihoods team. Loosely translated to mean: I have already learnt to cross the river on my own” in reference to her new-found economic independence.