WATCH: How HSNP cash helped me cope with drought emergency


Akidor NangiroAkidor NangiroNakidor Nangiro is lives in Loima, Turkana County. She is registered as beneficiary of HSNP under Group 2 category. Group 2 receive cash transfers only when there are triggers of severe and extreme drought or floods.

HSNP2 also works as a shock responsive safety net. HSNP 2 can also now expand during times of weather shocks (e.g. drought and flood risk) to cover additional households. Up to an additional 272,000 households across the four Counties of Turkana, Wajir, Marsabit and Mandera are being given bank accounts and cards as a platform for an earlier crisis response. Just like Akidor shares, the money is used to cushion beneficiaries against further damage caused by drought or floods.

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Widow turns the financial table


Akuam at her shop in Kataboi, Turkana NorthAkuam at her shop in Kataboi, Turkana North

Akuam Ideya Monti, a widow, is nostalgic as she reminisces over her life’s changing fortunes that have swung like a pendulum, oscillating from opulence to desperately in need, then back to self-reliance. But this did not just happen. With stoic resilience, she worked her way out of poverty. Hers is a true story of turning life’s lemons into lemonade.

Born in 1966, Akuam who was born in Turkana County’s Lokitaung area, married her sweetheart at a church wedding. They were blessed with seven children that she comfortably took care off, also playing guardian to her sister-in-law’s two children.

“ While I was a stay at home mother, my husband who worked as a loader for the World Food Program provided for our relatively large family. He was very supportive,” she says.

She recalls the good old days when her family lived happily within Lodwar town, the capital of Turkana County.

As fate would have it, when she had turned 32 years, the tranquility they enjoyed drastically changed for the worst when her husband began ailing from tuberculosis, thrusting her into the new unenviable dual role of father and mother.

“ When my husband’s health deteriorated, I re-located to his home in Kakuma with the hope that my in-laws would stand with us,” she says.

As fate would have it, he eventually died in 1998. Without the reliable bread winner, she was thrust into the new status of being desperately in need as she had to solely fend for their children.

However she says soon after the burial, while still mourning, most of her nomadic pastoralist in-laws left the homestead in search of pasture.

“ I made the quick decision to re-locate back to Kataboi sub-location, the original home for my biological parents, to begin a new life,” she says. Fortunately she was accepted back and settled in. She adds that she then immediately ventured into small-scale dried fish business that she sold within Kakuma.

That decision was godsend as she was registered into the Hunger Safety Net Program Phase 2 that rolled out its cash transfer program.

“ I bought iron sheets, opened a small shop and an adjacent butchery,” her face lights up as she recalls.

“ I was a beneficiary of HSNP’s arrears disbursement of six instalments, that I used to construct permanent structures that house my shop, butchery and two tenants,” she proudly says.

She is happy that she earns Kshs. 2,000 every month as rent from the tenants, exclusive of her income from the businesses.

“ When I stock my shop with goods worth thirty thousand shillings, I make up to five thousand profit within two months,” she says. She is quick to add that this increases when cash transfers are disbursed, as there is an escalation of customers.

“ HSNP’s cash transfer program is my father, my mother and my husband,” she says.

Through the program, she has been able to educate her children and provide for their basic needs.

“ My daughter who recently passed her KCSE examinations will soon be joining a medical training college, “ she proudly tells shares.

She says she decided not to re-marry as a solution to her widowhood, as men can be unpredictable. She is conscious that children of women who opt for this lose respect for the mother.

Asked how she concurrently manages to run a shop and the butchery, she heartily laughs and tells me she has a reliable daughter who supports her. She says we did not meet her at the shop as she was attending a local community meeting (baraza).

“ I am very grateful for HSNP’s cash transfer program that considers vulnerable women. If men were empowered with this cash, I predict many of them would increase wives or turn to alcohol instead of helping the family, she concludes.

HSNP provided me with my daughter Noti


Nuria and NotiNuria and NotiNuria Diba is a 54 year old woman from Godoma, Moyale, Marsabit County. She was registered into Hunger Safety Net Programme (HSNP) in 2013. Before joining HSNP, life was very tough especially being a widow, with seven children and irking a living from hawking firewood. The thought of sending her children to school was a pipe dream that she nursed in secret as she is very passionate of education though she never got a chance to go to school. From the little she could earn from hawking firewood and occasion support from close relatives, she could only struggle to educate her three youngest children of whom are all boy. Her only daughter who is now 27years and married did not get a chance to go to school a fact that she deeply regrets. Life was bleak during periods of prolonged drought when access to food was a big hurdle as food prices would sky rocket. The only support she had previously received but on irregular basis was food aid.

However, things began improving for the better when Nuria was among the first beneficiaries who received payment in arrears of Kshs. 47,200. The current HSNP transfer value is Kshs. 5,100 every two months.

“When I received the Kshs. 47,200 I felt like I had shaken the hand of God. Never in my life had I dreamt of handling such a huge amount at ago,’ shared Nuria beamingly.

She used part of the money to pay off some debts she’d accumulated of which some dated over 5 years old. She cleared school fees arrears for her 2 youngest sons and 3 grandchildren, bought uniform and other school essentials. In addition, some of the money went into stocking food to boost her household in coping with the declared drought of January- April 2015 of which Moyale sub-County is the hardest hit with VCI of 2.26, the lowest it has ever been in a span of 10 years. In addition, some of the money went to renovating the roofing of her huts which had deteriorated over the years and were leaking from the huge gapping holes during the rainy seasons. But the best of all was buying of a female donkey that she named “Noti” a Swahili word meaning note (paper cash).

Nuria standing outside her renovated hutsNuria standing outside her renovated huts“I bought Noti using the HSNP arrear money. Noti is not just a donkey but a daughter to me. She accompanies me to most places I go and helps me carry goes such as firewood, water and other loads”, shared Nuria with a warm smile.

The future for Nuria and Noti looks bright. Noti also boosts her income as she rents her out to community members that needs to carry heavy loads- but with a condition that they treat her well. Nuria looks forward to when Noti will give her “grandchildren” and enlarge her stock of donkeys that she can sell and hire out.

“I am very happy with HSNP as it has helped me improve the welfare of my family. I urge the government to help more people who are also poor so that we can all improve our lives”, urged Nuria.

Happily Providing for His Large Family


Yusuf Abdi Farrah poses for a photo with members of his large familyYusuf Abdi Farrah poses for a photo with members of his large familyFifty-five year old Yusuf Abdi Farrah has three wives and twenty children. Under normal circumstances, he should be a depressed man, pondering over where the next meal for his family should come from. In contrast, he happily heads his family that has a multiplicity of needs. Thanks to HSNP’s cash transfer program.

Seeing the shock on my face, Yusuf tells me that his three households are not the only ones that he is fending for. He also provides for some extended family members and their households too.

“ I provide for five households. I provide for my mother, who has people she provides for and one of my son’s too,” he reveals.

Like some of his friends, he did not benefit from HSNP’s cash transfer during Phase I, but received two tranches that totalled Kshs. 62,000/= during Phase II.

“ Determined to free myself from poverty, I divided the cash into two equal halves. I used one to pay accumulated debts, while I again divided the other half into two and paid school fees and investing in stock for my shop,” he shares happily.

Yusuf Abdi Farrah within his shopYusuf Abdi Farrah within his shopHowever, he is quick to add that after receiving the cash transfer, he has has accomplished a lot with it because he does not indulge in chewing of khat (miraa), smoke nor drink.

“ I manage the shop myself, which enables me track the finances,” he divulges.

Asked how he manages such a large family, he says numbers can be an asset or a challenge depending on how a head of the house views them.

“ As head of my family, each member of my family has a role to play. I have assigned my wives independent roles, while I provide overall leadership,” he says.

However, Abdi emphasizes all this would not have succeeded if HSNP’s cash transfer program had not included Wajir.

Family Transformed Totally By Cash Transfer


Fifty-year old AdiWario’s family seems to have hit the right codes of life. Attributes range from beautiful, successful businesswoman, loving husband rearing revered livestock, children in good schools including one at a leading university in Kenya. Interestingly, life was not always this way. Adi’s family’s transformation results from an encouraging jerk in life they received from HSNP’s cash transfer.

Adi says she and her husband were at one time jobless and desperate, with six children to fend for. They lived from hand to mouth. adi-warioadi-wario

“ Life was difficult, with three meals a day a pipe dream”, she recalls.

As they struggled to receive relief hand-outs from national and international organisations, HSNP emerged with its cash transfer initiative that appealed to people like herself and husband, who had tasted poverty and were yearning to get out of it.

“ As everybody today puts on clothes, I decided to establish a second hand clothes business that has a wide market,” she shares.

Adi says of glaring financial challenges they faced coupled with many needs, she saved a capital of Kshs. 20,000/= over several months from the initial Kshs. 2,150 and later Kshs. 3,500/= cash transfers received.

She says that they recognized their humble beginnings and challenges, teamed up with her supportive spouse with whom they worked tirelessly. From a derelict temporary shop, they have now established a permanent one constructed with iron sheets.

While recognizing her husband’s support, she is full of praise for women within the area, a majority who are in the cash transfer program.

“ This program has been successful because it mostly targeted women. Unlike some men, women never allow their families and especially children to suffer from poverty,” she says.

Giving her life as an example she says she and her husband have been able to educate all their children, with even one now at Kenya’s prestigious Egerton University.

“ Taking our area as an example, I appeal to the government to focus more on the empowering cash transfers. It is sad that those who are not in the program are still struggling in poverty, while the quality of life of those who are in has changed,” she concludes.

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Success Stories

WATCH: How HSNP cash helped me cope with drought emergency

WATCH: How HSNP cash helped me cope with drought emergency

Nakidor Nangiro is lives in Loima, Turkana County. She is registered as beneficiary of HSNP under Group 2 category. Group 2 receive cash transfers only when there are triggers of...

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Hunger Safety Net Programme,

National Drought Management Authority,

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Tel: 254 (20) 2227496 / 2227166

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