I&M Foundation feeds thousands in Samburu and Isiolo counties

Photo credit: I&M

Eastern and Northern Kenya’s most arid and semi-arid lands (ASALs) are experiencing critical drought conditions. This is due to four consecutive failed rainy seasons: October-December 2020; March-May 2021; October-December 2021; and March-May 2022 – a climatic event not seen for 40 years.

Last year, the Government of Kenyan made an appeal to the private sector to help raise Ksh2 billion for responding to the then developing drought crisis. In response, I&M Foundation has been working with 16 Village-Based Committees made up of six elected members – two women, two elders and two youths – to identify the most vulnerable households.

So far, I&M Bank, through the I&M Foundation, has fed 400 families in Samburu and Isiolo counties in a period of one month. This initiative, in partnership with Grevy’s Zebra Trust (GZT), is meant to supplement a family of five with 75 percent of adult and child daily nutritional needs as guided by the National Drought Management Authority (NDMA) Minimum Food Basket guidelines for Kenya. It is the second phase being after a successful first phase, which saw relief food distributed to 100 families last year in November 2022.

“The cumulative crisis of failed rains has caused a humanitarian [catastrophe] of hunger and drought, hitting the Northern part of Kenya hardest. There is a need for immediate intervention to address the dire effects of drought, especially malnutrition and hunger, at household level. At I&M Foundation, our goal is to address the felt needs of the communities we serve,”says Head of I&M Foundation, James Gatere.

Initiative partners, GZT, who work with pastoralist communities in northern Kenya to conserve and grow the endangered Grevy’s zebra population, have noted that some of the communities they work with are going without meals for up to two days. In addition, many families have lost nearly 85 percent of their livestock, which is their primary source of income. This scenario increases the rates of theft and crime due to lack of food.

Belinda Low Mackey, the Co-Founder and Executive Director of GZT, notes: “It is becoming clear to us and to Kenyans that there is a developing humanitarian crisis as a result of the ongoing drought. Our aim is not to provide full nutritional support to the entire community, but to provide supplementary relief to the most vulnerable families across the affected areas.”

James adds: “Feedback from the first phase demonstrated the dire need for supplementary relief, and we are pleased to be expanding the initiative for a second phase. We wish to continue to offer what one respondent referred to as ‘lifesaving relief packages’.”

About the I&M Foundation

The I&M Foundation, which was incorporated on March 24, 2020, spearheads the shared value agenda forI&M Bank, with a mission to deliver positive impact to society through lasting solutions through the planet, people and profit model, to create shared value for its stakeholders.

The Foundation seeks to see communities whose physical, social and economic environments are positively impacted as a result of its partnership.

I&M Foundation responds to the needs of vulnerable marginalised communities inKenya in a practical and impactful way in key strategic thematic areas, namely, Environmental Conservation, Education and Skills Development, Economic Empowerment, and Enabling Giving.

For more information visit: www.imbankgroup.com

I&M Bank is regulated by the Central Bank of Kenya.