Drought in Kenya brings a surprise: More girls in school


Joyce Ipus with her son. Photo Credit: Isaiah Esipisu, TRFJoyce Ipus with her son. Photo Credit: Isaiah Esipisu, TRFSafety net of cash transfer payments helps persuade families that investing in girls makes good economic sense

Wednesday, 5 April 2017 23:05 GMT

The transition to keeping girls in school has not always been an easy one. When Lopungre passed her primary school exams, in 2014, her father began making plans for her marriage.

"That was the main plan, but before marriage arrangements commenced I dug out the money from the ground and, with something in my hands, I convinced my husband that it was time for our daughter to proceed with her education," the girl's mother said.

With memories of the animals that succumbed to the 2011 drought still fresh, her husband finally was persuaded and offered to sell two camels to support his wife's idea.

As a result, Lopungre became one of the 35 girls who started at the new Nakurio Girls Secondary school in 2015. Today the school has 150 girls, nearly all of them from the Turkana community.

"People in this county are slowly changing their mentality. Unlike what happened just 10 years ago, where girls were forcefully married off in exchange with livestock, the same parents are now willing to sell the very livestock in order to pay school fees for their daughters," said Missionary Alfred Areman, the principal at the school and a clergyman at a local Catholic church.

According to Leonard Logilai, who has been the administrative chief in Lorengelup since 1997, many girls started school following the 2011 drought that consumed most of the community's livestock.

"Some (families) have been selling the surviving livestock to pay school fees, while others use part of the HSNP money to settle the fees arrears," he said.

The switch comes on the back of tireless campaigning on the value of keeping girls in school by the church, local officials and humanitarian organisations.

"I have always told my people that when you educate a girl child, you gain double because apart from adding value to her life, she will still get married, through which the parents will still get the much-wanted dowry," said Logilai.

"Once a few girls get it right, they will become role models to others, including parents, and that will help us keep up the campaign to promote girl child education in this area," he said.

(Reporting by Isaiah Esipisu; editing by Laurie Goering :; Please credit the Thomson Reuters Foundation, the charitable arm of Thomson Reuters, that covers humanitarian news, climate change, resilience, women's rights, trafficking and property rights). Visit http://news.trust.org/climate)

HSNP pays drought emergency payments in March 2017


On 24 March 2017, HSNP paid drought emergency cash transfers to 53,635 group 2 households across the four Counties of Mandera, Wajir, Marsabit and Turkana. This was in response to the drought triggers reported by the vegetation cover index report of 24 24 February 2017. Total amount paid is Kshs. 144.8 million. Each household receives Kshs. 2,700. Households receive information about payments through public barazas held by Chiefs, payment agents, programme staff based the counties, radio, mass sms and word of mouth. Households receive their cash from Equity payment agents based at the sub-location level using their debit cards.


See the attached statistics.





Numbers paidNumbers paid


Statistics for drought emergency payments made in response to February drought triggersStatistics for drought emergency payments made in response to February drought triggers

President Uhuru delivers emergency cash payments to HSNP Turkana


Yesterday, H.E President Uhuru Kenyatta witnessed HSNP drought emergency payments of Group 2 beneficiaries in Lodwar. The payments were triggered by the February 2017 vegetation cover index. Each household will received Kshs. 2,100. Drought emergency payments are also being delivered in the other three Counties of Wajir, Marsabit and Mandera. The President was joined by Nic Hailey, the British High Commissioner.

HSNP emergency payments are financed by the Governments of Kenya and UK. The cheque received by Agnes Ndetei- Chairlady, NDMA Board of Directors and witnessed by Nic Hailey- British High Commissioner, Ekwe Ethuro- Speaker of Senate, William Ruto- Deputy President, John Munyes- Senator Turkana County and Josphat Nanok- Governor, Turkana County.

Hunger Safety Net Programme paid 66,254 Group 2 households across Mandera, Wajir, Marsabit and Turkana a total of Kshs. 178,885,800 (£1,397,545). Each household received Kshs.2,700 (£21). Group 2 households constitute households that only receive cash transfers during emergency scale ups. 60% of the money (Kshs. 108,259,200) was paid to female recipient households in the four Arid and poorest Counties badly hit by the current drought. Female recipients households are those that have women receiving HSNP cash transfers on behalf of the households. 

Watch NTV feature story on drought biting hard in Marsabit County


WATCH: NTV DROUGHT IN MARSABIT NEWS FEATURE aired on Sunday, 22 February 2017

"Marsabit County is experiencing severe drought in sub-Counties such as North Horr, Laisamis and Moyale. A huge number of livestock is at risk of perishing. Both the National and County governments have embarked in implementing drought intervention activities. HSNP, a national cash transfer programme has scaled up drought emergency cash payments to additional households in the four Counties of Marsabit, Turkana, Wajir and Mandera." Guyo Golicha, CDC Marsabit
Watch: http://bit.ly/2lqhqX5

Drought is the biggest natural hazard in Kenya. In the past, Kenya’s drought responses were solely based on costly and often late humanitarian disaster appeals.

Emergency cash transfers during drought are one of the objectives of the HSNP Phase 2 and a key component of the National Safety Net Programme (NSNP) Programme. Each household receives Ksh2,700 under the emergency cash transfers. 

In response to the ongoing drought, on 28 December 2016 HSNP scaled up cash transfer to additional 26,482 vulnerable households - Wajir (20,274) Mandera (582) and Marsabit (5,626) in November 2016. The total value was Kshs. 143Million. This was following the vegetation cover index report of November 2016.

On 30 January 2017, scaled up cash transfers were done to additional 79,313 vulnerable households: Wajir (35,245), Mandera (17,420), Turkana (16,632) and Marsabit (9,836). The total value of the scale cash transfers is Ksh214.5 Million, with a scale up transfer value of Ksh 2,700 per household. The payments were triggered by the vegetation cover index report of December 2016.

Total emergency payments paid during the current drought between December 2016 and January 2017 is Kshs. 357.5million.


HSNP pays cycle 21 to regular beneficiaries


HSNP payment of cycle 21 to regular households (Group 1) began on 5th November 2016 across the four Counties of Turkana, Wajir, Marsabit and Mandera. A total of 96,016 households received Kshs. 584,793,400.00 (Kshs. 0.585 billion) as their two months cash transfer entitlement. According to the external evaluation findings, HSNP cash transfers is used to buy food, pay school fees and repay debts. In addition, HSNP cash transfers have helped women enter the local economy on a small scale see HSNP infographics evalution outputs

See charts below with County specific statistics for HSNP payment of cycle 21:

HSNP cycle 21 paymentHSNP cycle 21 payment











Turkana cycle 21Turkana cycle 21











Wajir cycle 21Wajir cycle 21

Marsabit cycle 21Marsabit cycle 21

Mandera payment cycle 21Mandera payment cycle 21

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