In Kenya, Oxfam works with others to alleviate poverty and inequality. We work with the most vulnerable communities in the dry and remote northern regions, and in the impoverished slums of the capital, Nairobi.
Kenya in context
In Kenya, the highest poverty levels are in the northern pastoralist districts - in some areas 95% of people fall below the poverty line.
Like many developing countries, Kenya is undergoing rapid urbanisation. It’s estimated that by 2050 half the Kenyan population will be living in urban areas. This high presents a myriad of challenges. 34% of the 17 million poor Kenyans are urban poor and most of them live in informal urban settlements.
Oxfam in Kenya
Since starting work in Kenya in 1963, Oxfam has:
- provided long-term development aid and emergency relief, for example supporting refugees;
- promoted peace and managed conflicts between communities;
- campaigned for better governance and equitable access to services.
We aim to help citizens stand up for their rights, and we work with others from government, civil society, communities, international development actors and the private sector.
Working with dry-land communities
In Turkana and Wajir we develop market-based alternative and complementary livelihoods, supporting fishermen and traders.
Working with poor urban communities
In the capital, Nairobi, we work with partners to run water kiosks, “bio-centers” that turn human waste into usable energy and improve sanitation, and recycling plants for unemployed youth. Our social protection programs provide cash to help poor families cope with rising costs of food and water and kickstart small businesses.
Peace-building and conflict management
We focus on enhancing communities’ capacity to resolve conflicts and co-exist peacefully. We also influence national policy through the National Steering Committee on Peace-Building and Conflict Management, under the Office of the President.
We’re working closely with others, supporting local civil society to hold the Government accountable for its response to climate change. We’re also generating relevant climate change data to inform advocacy positions locally and internationally.
All of Oxfam’s work in Kenya is rooted in promoting better governance – at local, regional and national levels – by strengthening poor people’s ability to defend and demand their rights. We work to ensure that our partners and the communities we work with have their voices and concerns heard, and that the Government fulfils its responsibilities to poor Kenyans.