The Society’s DRR/CCA Strategy for 2012 will contribute to community safety and resilience to disasters through a strengthened capacity of communities to cope with the impacts. The ultimate impact of this approach is geared towards saving lives (Hyogo framework, 2005-2015). In collaboration with the Government of Kenya (GoK), KRCS has prioritised DRR and Disaster Mitigation as a key strategy for achieving its long-term strategicobjective (Tugure, 2010). Formulation of the National Disaster Policy has gone further to strengthen the link between disasters and development, by creating a platform for advocacy with the GoK to provide for the right to development for communitiesin disaster prone areas (National Disaster Management Policy, 2007).
There is a global realisation that preparing for and coping with disasters is essential but is not entirely sufficient. DRR is highly cost-effective. One US dollar invested in DRR saves four USdollars used in response and recovery efforts (UNISDR, 2005). The National disaster profile for Kenya identifies floods and droughts as the main disaster affecting the country (UNDP 2004) .
During 2011, KRCS supported enhanced application of Community Based Disaster Risk Reduction (CBDRR) principlesin disaster management by providing assistance and training to community groups through Vulnerability and Capacity Assessments and drafting community risk reduction plans (Int.Federation VCA toolbox, 2007). Through the support of the Danish Red Cross, KRCS implemented Pilot DRR projects in Nyando Basin,Nairobi and Machakos.
In 2012, KRCS will focus on a holistic DRR programming that combines hazard-specific and multi-hazard approaches. Priorityfocus areas for DRR and climate change adaptation will include Drought Risk Reduction Programmes, Floods Risk Reduction Programmes and Urban slums Risk Reduction Programmes.
(i) Food Security and Livelihoods: KRCS Food Security Strategy for 2012 seeks to increase community resilience to disasters through strengthening/protecting livelihoods. The frequency of hazards has culminated to increasing levels of poverty and increased vulnerability, which are beyond the scope of short-term emergency responses. The most recent drought emergency was experienced in 2010/2011 leaving 3.7 Million people in need of food assistance (KFSSG Long Rains Assessment, 2011). The KRCS Food Security programme is thus an extension of the Risk Reduction Approach. The strategy was designed to guide KRCS activities that support households and communities to adapt to changing climatic and economic conditions affecting food security.
KRCS has successfully implemented pilot food security and livelihood projects, while focusing on empowering farmers through trainings, distribution of seeds, seedlings, farm inputs and irrigation pumps. KRCS has also distributed and installed a total of 260 greenhouses in schools and community groups that have shown immediate return on investments enabling schools /communities improve their diets and increase income. Farming has been introduced as an alternative livelihood in areas with increased pastoralist dropouts due to climate fluctuations with an aim of reducing people receiving food aid.
In 2012, KRCS plans to scale up Food Security and livelihood projects in mainly the ASAL region with a focus on Turkana, Tana River, Garissa, Mwingi, Yatta, Magarini, Ijara, Wajir , Mandera , Moyale and Marsabit. The projects will assist some 350,000 beneficiaries in the targeted areas through increasing land under irrigated agriculture, modern agricultural technologies such as the greenhouse that utilises drip irrigation, training of farmer groups and support in marketing. The programme will also look into support of water infrastructure to enhance dry land farming.