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In recent years, the high frequency of severe droughts in the Horn of Africa has undermined the ability of households in the region to recover from these crises.
This document summarizes the findings from the EMMA carried out in Kenya's Wajir County from August-September 2012, before detailing the report's response recommendations. The analysis focuses on Wajir's North and West and extrapolates to the rest of the County where possible. The assessment aimed at informing La Nina Consortium's contingency planning, looking specifically at the scenario of severe drought.
In Wajir, there is a range of water sources and methods of accessing water. These range from long-existing water sources such as open water reservoirs, shallow wells and boreholes to water supplies that have been organized by individuals or communities and which ebb and flow depending on the need. In Wajir, these water supplies involve transporters such as water truckers as well as opportunistic water vendors who carry and sell water in a number of forms when the need dictates.
This assessment found that water availability and transportation services in the hydrologic catchment area of Wajir is sufficient to meet the unmet water needs of the population. However, water accessibility is restricted by purchasing power, asset ownership and by the type of water sources available in different communities. Access is especially problematic during the dry season. In addition, NGOs have been dominating the contracting of water trucks, which has effectively reduced the negotiating power of communities.
This report concludes that humanitarian efforts to provide water in Wajir can rely on the market and its actors and makes the following recommendations for market-based programming: supporting water access through water vouchers in villages with no borehole and through water vouchers for free water provision directly at boreholes where they exist; integrating cash for water into food security-focused cash transfer programs; improving the capacity of water points; and supporting the operation and maintenance of boreholes. In addition, the report recommends activities involving public health promotion, the promotion of accountability and improved governance, preparedness and DRR, advocacy on various fronts, defining triggers for emergency water provision and further analysis.