Community responses to Covid-19 in Marsabit County, Kenya
Responding to Covid-19 in Marsabit county, Kenya
Background note to videos produced by Mamo Ali and Darare Gonche, July 2020, for IREMO in Marsabit, Kenya. The videos were produced with support from Christian Aid, Diakonie Kastatrophile and L2GP.
1: Community led responsibility
Between the month of June 2019 and March 2020, the community benefitted an initiative implemented by IREMO with support from Christian Aid and L2GP. As a result of this intervention communities were introduced to survivor and community-led crisis responses (sclr). Community took the approach as positive steps towards meaningful engagement whereby community volunteers - locally known as Shepherds” - took up the responsibility of being the eye, ears and voice of the community.
As a response to the Covid-19 pandemic, IREMO also partnered with Diakonie Katastrophenhilfe to support the Hurri Hills community with personal protection, hygiene and sanitation supplies. Simultaneously, the community volunteers took on responsibilities of enforcing curfew guidelines in the absence of anything like regular police in their area.
In the absence of the law enforcement on the ground the Hurri Hills, the community took the matter into their hands to control movements of people in and out of their settlements during this period of covid-19. They did this voluntarily and selected elders, youths and local administration officers (Chiefs) who took guard of the town and watched over any crowd of people in all the business and market areas. The aim is to protect themselves from visitors who could be infected within their environment and to take the appropriate actions to prevent this. “Waan qabani jiil bahan” is a Gabra saying which addresses a situation where circumstances demand action/intervention. It can also mean that the success of any activity starts with using what you have at hand.
2: Positive impact of hand washing
Find more examples of community-led responses to COVID-19 at L2GP’s website.