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Oxfam's response in Kenya

Oxfam is supporting around 1 million people affected by the crisis in Kenya.

Our work is focused mainly in the remote northern drylands such as Turkana and Wajir, and in the Dadaab refugee camp

Donate to Oxfam's emergency work 

Water, sanitation and hygiene

Oxfam teams across Kenya are drilling and repairing boreholes and traditional water sources; constructing latrines; providing fuel subsidies to help communities keep water pumping; and carrying out mass public health campaigns to reduce the spread of water-borne diseases. 

Where necessary, such as in Wajir and Dadaab, we have trucked in water supplies.

Blog: Water brings new hope as Wajir tries to recover from drought 

Video: A new borehole in Turkana 

Supporting livelihoods and markets

Many people have lost their means of making a living because of the drought, and alternative jobs are scarce. Oxfam is part of a "Hunger Safety Net Programme" where the poorest families, including many women-headed families, are given monthly cash payments to help them cope. Oxfam is also supporting people through "cash for work" programmes - paying people for labour to help build water systems and other assets. We have been working with small traders to ensure their local business do not collapse during drought due to the low purchasing power of local communities, and helping to link up traders to regional markets to ensure food remains available in local markets at reasonable prices.


Destocking cattle

Oxfam's de-stocking programme bought up some of the weakest animals, ensuring that owners get an income and some vital cash before their assets die. The meat from these animals is distributed to the community. Where necessary, Oxfam is also distributing food aid in parts of Turkana.

Improving animal health

Many people in the drylands rely on livestock as their main source of income and nutrition, but the drought has left the animals weak, dying and hard to sell. Oxfam has carried out animal health projects to ensure that breeding stock survive the drought.

Helping refugees

The Dadaab camps are the biggest refugee complex in the world, now home to over 500,000 refugees who have fled the conflict and famine in Somalia. Despite ongoing insecurity in the area, Oxfam is there and providing clean water, sanitation and health campaigns to around 100,000 refugees.

Video: An Oxfam plumber in Dadaab

Video: An Oxfam plumber in Dadaab

Oxfam innovation

In Turkana, Oxfam is piloting the use of solar powered water pumps. Remote communities often run out of fuel to keep generators going - which are needed to keep the water pumping. Fuel is increasingly expensive, and during a crisis - when the boreholes are most needed - families can't afford to pay for fuel. Solar power offers a free and efficient alternative.

In a crisis - when pumps are often working for 20 hours a day - water pumps often break down from over-use. In remote communities, spare parts are hard to find. Oxfam is piloting a new "BluePump" water pump, specially designed to withstand heavy use in extremely arid regions.

Other ways to help