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Community members in El Wak trained in the dangers of open defecation

Community members in El Wak, Southern Somalia, are trained in Community-Led Total Sanitation (CLTS). More than 600 households have been reached.


Community members of El Wak, Southern Somalia, have been taken through the hazards of open defecation.

This was as part of Community-Led Total Sanitation (CLTS) "triggering" process that took place in five locations in El Wak town: Darkeley, Madino, Bulo-garas, and Wabari 1& 2 locations. Close to 600 households that have no toilets gained from the exercise, which was carried out this month.
Open defecation is the root cause of faecal-oral transmission of diseases such at typhoid, which pose an enormous threat to the health of community members. The main aim of CLTS is to eradicate open defecation.

”We are nomads by nature. Because of this fact, I have never thought of digging a latrine in my compound. Since my family and I moved back to the town, we have continued to use bushes behind our compound to relieve ourselves,” said Mama Khadija, a resident of Darkeley Location.
“Before this "triggering", I never thought what we are doing (open defecation) is the main cause of the many diseases that affect my children and myself. Since I am unable to dig a pit latrine by myself, I will request my neighbours to assist me,’’ she added.
After the CLTS training, community members promised to work together and construct pit latrines for their households. So far, 125 pit latrines have been dug. Eighty five households out of the 125 have started using their newly-constructed latrines, constructed using locally available materials.

This CLTS training is among interventions of Integrated Community Rehabilitation Programme that was launched earlier this year by AAH-I, in Somalia and its implementing partner, Nomadic Assistance For Peace and Development (NAPAD). The project's objectives include: to improve household food security levels, increase local knowledge and practices related to primary healthcare, increase access to Water Sanitation and Hygiene (WASH), and improve livelihoods among the target population, all by 2018.



International Board chair urges communities to value education

Beauty Lukwesa shares her experience during a visit by AAH-I's International Board chair, Dr John Tabayi, and Executive Director, Dr Caroline Kisia, to Mushota, Kawambwa District, Luapula Province, Zambia.

AAH-I International Board Chairman John Tabayi has urged Zambian communities to embrace the value of education.

Dr Tabayi made the call during his visit to areas where AAH Zambia is implementing its projects. “Education is a strong pillar and without it, one cannot aspire to be a better person in the society. Without education we cannot have professionals such as doctors, nurses or even aspire for political leadership,” he argued.

“Success lies in your own hands and that can only come once you acquire education. To parents, encourage your children to go to school and discourage them from getting married at an early age.” He urged parents to invest their time and resources in the education of their children as the benefits of doing so are long-term.

Meanwhile, beneficiaries of the projects AAH Zambia is implementing shared their experiences with  Dr Tabayi and  Dr Kisia.

Beauty Lukwesa, 42, from Mushota in Kawambwa District, narrated how she had benefited from the interventions. “Back in 2013, I had fell ill and my health deteriorated. I thought it was malaria but instead of seeking medical attention from an health centre, I decided to take herbal medicine. My sickness worsened,” she explained.

In 2014, AAH Zambia conducted a mass sensitisation on HIV/AIDS in the area, and the nature of the messages compelled Beauty to go to an health centre where a thorough diagnosis was done on her. She tested for HIV. “It felt like it was the end of the world but continued to go for counselling at the health facility. Through the support of AAH Zambia, I regained my self-esteem and was put on Anti retroviral drugs (ARVs).” 

Beauty said she enjoyed good health and was free to talk about her health status to encourage more people to go for Voluntary Counselling and Testing (VCT).

AAH Zambia's programme has been implementing activities on maternal and child health in partnership with the District Health Management Team, rural health facilities and local community based structures such as Community Action Groups. Programme activities are designed to reduce rates of people living with HIV/AIDS in rural areas and address loss to follow-up of Elimination of Mother to Child Transmission of HIV/AIDS, provide sexual reproductive health services to women and girls and ensure that women who are HIV negative remain so.

Dr Tabayi and Dr Kisia visited Zambia from 6 to 10 June 2016 on a tour to familiarise the incoming International Board chair with AAH Zambia projects.

Cooperative members trained on value addition of livestock products

A section of community members who attended the two-day training on livestock value addition, in Narok town, Kenya.


More than 200 members of three cooperatives from Mara, Narok County underwent training in livestock value addition, recently. There were also about 100 members from three new cooperatives that are being registered.

The two-day workshop took place in Narok town and was facilitated by AAH Kenya in conjunction with the Ministry of Agriculture, Livestock and Fisheries. Other participants included representatives from Nyongara Slaughter House in Dagoreti, Nairobi; Equity Bank; Kenya Meat Commission (KMC), and Beehive and Mara Cooperative. The aim of the event was to educate farmers on  how they could  add value to products, including, hides, skins and meat.
In his remarks, AAH Kenya’s Country Programme Manager, Dr Kamau Githaiga, urged the cooperatives to support women from their communities to establish and increase their confidence. “I believe that through such initiatives, women can access many benefits such as finance and the revolving fund kitty, which can assist them to set up their own  businesses.”
He added that the organisation is committed to training and empowering community members to improve their breed qualities, while also encouraging them to stop the practice of keeping too many cattle whose value is limited. “We hope that after the exposure visit and this workshop, you will be empowered to start treating, and controlling diseases that affect your livestock, as well as breeding improved cattle.” 

Mr. Isaac Kasaine, an expert in agriculture and livestock keeping, urged the cooperatives to improve production through profitable practices such as cross-breeding and control of diseases such as anthrax, foot and mouth, and lumpy skin disease.
Mr. Orkoyai Ole Sengeny, a member of the Enkera Cooperative from Mararianta, commended AAH Kenya for having a positive impact on the lives of Masaai. “Our lives have improved. We can now afford to educate our children and even take them to health facilities when they are sick,” he said with a grin.
AAH Kenya has been working to transform the lives of communities in Mara. This is through a two-year Mara Enterprise Development Project (MEDP). There has been inculcation of an entrepreneurial mind-set among the community members. The interventions are primarily designed to improve the economic well-being of livestock keepers, women traders and the youth. AAH Kenya also works with farmers with a focus on increasing agricultural productivity and access to markets.

Media breakfast held for Uganda journalists

Remmy Bahati, a reporter with NBS TV, interviews Basilio Okello, during the AAH Uganda media breakfast, held in Kampala, on June 6.

AAH Uganda Country Director, Mr Basilio Okello, has urged the Uganda government and humanitarian organisations operating in Uganda to ensure that displaced people are supported to maintain their dignity and self-reliance as they struggle to adapt to their new environment, and to meet their daily needs.

Mr Basilio was responding to questions from journalists during a media breakfast organised by AAH Uganda on June 6, at Grand Imperial hotel, Kampala, Uganda. He highlighted new models of humanitarian assistance that address both the needs of host communities and refugees.


“These host communities, which are often marginalised and vulnerable, also need support to address their own development needs,” Basilio argued.
The media breakfast was attended by 11 journalists from different media houses, and 10 AAH Uganda offices staff - Kampala, Kyangwali, Adjumani and Karamoja. The breakfast sought to highlight the work of AAH Uganda and other country programmes in Kenya, Zambia, South Sudan and Somalia to the world using the media as an effective channel to reach a wider audience. 
The media house journalists included representatives from broadcast, print, and online channels. In the broadcast industry, NBS TV, KFM Radio, Capital Radio, Radio One, and Dembe FM were represented. In the print category, were newspapers; Daily Monitor, New Vision, and The Observer. While Uganda Radio Network (URN) covered online media.

A similar media breakfast event was held in Kenya and Zambia last year. There are plans to hold the event in the other AAH-I's country programmes.

Explore new humanitarian models to deal with refugees


By Dr Caroline Kisia


The refugee numbers are staggering. And they seem to rise every day. According to the United Nations, there are more than 60 million forcibly displaced persons globally. Of these, about 20 million are refugees, a 24 per cent increase since 2000.


There is an urgent need to come up with mechanisms that not only resolve conflict when it occurs, but also prevent it. This means political solutions. In the meantime, organisations like Action Africa Help International (AAH-I), a regional organisation based in Kenya, are working to support new models of humanitarian assistance that ensure displaced people are able to maintain their dignity and to some degree, become self-reliant.


Read more here:

Inspiring story ahead of the World Refugee day.