Eddine Sarroukh,
Senior Advisor Innovation and Technology, UNDP Kenya

Marceline Otieno, a UN Volunteer Public Health Officer working under the Joint Devolution Programme makes home visits to communities as part of the public sensitisation, risk communication, and healthcare services in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. Photo: UNDP Kenya/Jonhson Muchiri

Back in 1987, the World Health Organization launched the Safe Motherhood Initiative in Kenya, a global movement to reduce maternal mortality. Over the last 30 years, the maternal healthcare field has made considerable progress, though more work needs to be done towards safeguarding the health of mothers and their young ones. Every day, around 800 women worldwide die from preventable pregnancy and childbirth-related complications. Many of these deaths occur in low- and middle-income countries, of which Kenya is no exception. In Kenya, approximately 5,000 maternal deaths are reported annually. …

AccLab team in Kenya (Caroline Kiarie, Victor Apollo, and Lillian Njoro) reflects on 2020; the challenges and opportunities to innovate for an inclusive and resilient future.

2020 brought many changes in terms of how we engage and interact including remote working, the use of facemasks in public spaces, regular use of sanitisers, and physical distancing among others.

2020 was unpredictable and a challenging year for humanity. Like many people across the world, for us at the UNDP Accelerator Lab in Kenya, 2020 was a year where we had to unlearn and relearn how to navigate life’s complexities, including adapting to new ways of working through virtual engagement and collaboration. …

Author: Caroline Kiarie- Kimondo
Head of Exploration, Accelerator Lab, UNDP Kenya

A student on the Autism spectrum access content produced specially for children with disabilities using Virtual Reality Technology. Photo: Action for Children with Disabilities

COVID-19 has brought devastation, loss of lives, and instability across the world. However, the impact of COVID-19 has not been homogenous. The pandemic has affected persons with disability disproportionately, deepening and exacerbating pre-existing challenges faced by persons with disability. More than 15 percent of the global population — over 1 billion people — are estimated to have a disability, 80 percent of whom live in developing countries.

According to the 2019 census, 2.2% (0.9 million people) of Kenyans live with some form of disability. Persons with disabilities have, under…

Local communities living within and in the forests are investing in tree seedlings as a way of reforesting the degraded forests. Individuals have taken up the call from the government to plant and protect more than 1.8 billion seedlings in order to achieve the 10% Tree Cover by 2022. Photo: Kevin Ouma/UNDP Kenya

The negative impact of climate change is global; it is exacerbating poverty levels, vulnerabilities, and inequalities. With the increased frequency of floods, cyclones, wildfires, and the rise in temperatures, humanity is in great crisis. As the latest UNDP Human Development 2020 Report indicates, challenges of planetary and societal imbalance are intertwined: they interact in a vicious circle, each making the other worse.

Like several parts around the world, Kenya is not immune to these devastating climatic experiences. In recent times, the country has severally experienced floods and mudslides in numerous regions such as the Elgeyo Marakwet and West Pokot, where…

Maimuna Hussein (not her real name) is a middle-aged mother of three children living in Tarbaj town in Wajir County and married to one Hussein Ahmed (not his real name). In the last two years, Ahmed has abandoned his family due to marital tensions and neglected his children thereby denying them their right to parental responsibility and maintenance. Maimuna who is poor and illiterate had no knowledge of where to seek formal redress. …

Victor Apollo,
Head of Solutions Mapping, Accelerator Lab — UNDP Kenya

Access to financial and social assets is a key factor in the quest to empower youth to make their own economic decisions and escape poverty. Unfortunately, majority of this group in the informal sector are un-bankable making access to finance a huge challenge. Photo: Kevin Ouma/UNDP

COVID-19 pandemic has accelerated the loss of livelihoods and led to an increased rate of unemployment among Kenyan Youth. Prior to the COVID-19 pandemic, young people aged 20 to 24 years were more adversely affected in the labor market in comparison to other age cohorts. In December 2019, the youth unemployment rate was 14.2%, a percentage double that of the general populations unemployment at 4.9%[1]. Restrictions related to COVID-19 such as business closures, social distancing, and stay-at-home regulations have affected the population, with youth experiencing the hardest blow. …

Bashir Diriye, Field Officer with Nomadic Assistance for Peace and Development (NAPAD), works towards promoting access to justice for the poor and marginalised in Mandera County // Photo: Nicholas Wilson/UNDP Kenya

Mandera, the capital of Mandera County, is at the very edge of Kenya’s Northern Frontier. Touching the borders of both Ethiopia and Somalia, a heavy security presence reflects the prevalence of conflict in the immediate area — particularly involving fundamentalist militant groups. Speaking to locals around town, the majority of whom are ethnic Somalis, there’s a feeling that the instability, curfews and restrictions on movement that come with this have dimmed the voice of inclusivity and public participation.

In these circumstances, when it comes to marginalised groups such as women and children, basic needs are not always met: Mandera County…

In Kenya, the vast majority of rural households burn wood on open fires for cooking and heating — a practice which is environmentally harmful, inefficient and causes health problems associated with indoor air pollution. Promoting energy efficient and low-carbon power is key to mitigating climate change. Photo: Kevin Ouma/UNDP Kenya

When it comes to human development, climate change remains a defining issue of our time: its impacts are not only slowing down growth of economies but exposing already fragile ecosystems and vulnerable communities to even more risks. Reduction of the rate of increase, and scale of changes, in greenhouse gases (GHG) — also known as mitigation — is an option both developing and developed countries are pursuing as part of the global efforts to fight climate change.

Kenya’s Climate Change Action Plan 2018–2022 has prioritized enhancement of energy efficiency as one of the priority actions to mitigate climate change in…

Pastoralism is the norm for locals on both sides of the often porous Kenya-Ethiopia border which bisects Moyale; as such, cross-border communities may access the same grazing lands, leading to intermittent conflict. Photo: Amunga Eshuchi/UNDP Kenya

Moyale is as bustling and lively as you’d expect a border town to be: split across both Kenya and Ethiopia, there are clear influences on either side of the town from each country, from the foliage to the food and the language to the locals. The northernmost point of Marsabit County has recently seen a boon in fortunes following the completion of the Isiolo-Moyale Highway in 2017 and strengthened Kenya-Ethiopia integration: what was once a troubled frontier town is becoming a focal point in the rising tide of East African trade.

Outside of the town itself, Moyale and North Horr…

Mama Chao, hanging clothes with his son Junior at Mkwajuni village, Lake Jipe, Taita-Taveta County, Kenya. Although the county has numerous water resources access to tapped water in many homesteads remains a challenge. Photo: Allan Gichigi/UNDP

Of Kenya’s counties, Taita Taveta is among the most picturesque — and biodiverse. The bustling markets of Taveta on the Kenya-Tanzanian border stand in contrast to the flat sisal plains of Voi and lush, green forests of hilly Wundanyi, whilst Tsavo West and Tsavo East national parks are home to the world famous red Elephants — the only ones in the world. Some 150km from the coast, the County is also well connected to the Nairobi-Mombasa corridor by both rail and road; unsurprisingly, its population is one of Kenya’s fastest growing.[1] …


In #Kenya, UNDP works with the Government and communities towards inclusive and sustainable socio-economic and human development. https://www.ke.undp

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