Prep-Aid is a non for profit informal organisation I have founded as I feel there is great need for us to prepare in some way, both financial and with ideas and plans for the myriad of disasters that affect Kenya. My friends and family pull together and brainstorm ideas and then seek to aid as best we can. Unfortunately as we are not registered and no one knows us we find it extremely hard to fund raise. Green Dreams Ltd is looking at starting up a Trust in the future to allow us to implement our ideas and projects much more efficiently.
The idea of the Famine Relief Seed Project seems to be something both government and Ngo cannot wrap their head around and after many frustrating meetings we were almost at the point of giving up. Everyone thinks it is a brilliant idea and that the amount of funding is small however, we seem to be sent from door to door and feel like ‘idea hustlers’ at the end of the day!
Our plans were to raise 4 million kenyan shillings, we have so far raised 100,000 (thanks to SafariCom) and thus were ready to channel the funds into a smaller project empowering a youth group of ex convicts to start up community gardens in one of the slum areas. We may however still be able to do the larger project as just yesterday we were told we may get $20,000 from a kind donor in the States.
If this is the case, we will down scale the larger project which is underlined below.
Following the disputed presidential elections in December 2007, Kenya has experienced unprecedented violent clashes among supporters of opposing political camps, which has resulted in large numbers of persons being displaced from their homes and farms in various parts of the country. Large-scale displacement of people from some of Kenya’s most productive agricultural land, particularly in the Rift Valley and Western provinces, has adversely affected Kenya’s agricultural sector, with potentially long-term implications. Recent reports have warned of looming famine and food shortages if the current situation is not normalized soon.
The Famine Relief Seed Distribution Project will target the estimated 250,000 – 300,000 displaced persons around the country, who are currently housed in camps managed by the Kenya Red Cross Society . Plans are currently underway to resettle displaced persons and provide food assistance. The bulk of this food assistance will consist of grains and non-perishable food items, which can be transported and stored over longer periods of time. PREP-AID’s Famine Relief Seed Distribution Project will complement existing food assistance efforts by focusing on perishable food items (specifically fresh vegetables), and will provide additional benefits by taking advantage of the planting season, encouraging farmers to begin producing food, and providing nutritious supplements over the coming months. With the onset of the long rainy season in March, urgent action is needed to ensure that resettled farmers will have access to seed to begin planting as soon as possible.
Methodology: The Famine Relief Seed Distribution Project will distribute 100,000 individual sachets consisting of a mixed variety of fast-growing, short-maturing, hardy vegetable seeds designed to produce fresh food that will be sufficient to sustain an average-sized Kenyan family (6-8 persons) from within 6 weeks after sowing. The seed packs will be distributed to families free of charge by the Kenya Red Cross Society.
Other funding sources: PREP-AID is currently sourcing funding and other contributions from donor agencies, international organizations and corporate sponsors. To date PREP-AID has had initial discussions with representatives of the Kenya Red Cross Society (logistical support) and Safaricom Ltd. (fundraising).
Summary: Urgent action is needed to address the current crises resulting from displacement of large numbers of people from agricultural land, and to mitigate the threat of famine and food shortages over the coming months. The Famine Relief Seed Distribution Project represents a proactive approach that seeks to address the problem before it happens, and while there is still time to act. PREP-AID is ready and willing to roll-out the seed distribution project as soon as funding is available to purchase and prepare seed packs. PREP-AID has already identified suppliers and partners to assist with the distribution of the seed packs.