A country of extremes
Kenya has seen impressive economic growth over the past decade, but many people are failing to see any benefit. Almost 40% of the population lack opportunities to form a stable income and this disproportionately affects Kenya’s young people.
We’ve had offices in Kenya for over 25 years. In this time we’ve built strong relationships with trusted partners and honed our approach to addressing some of the country’s most challenging problems.
Our Kenya HQ is in Nairobi. We have field offices in Lodwar and Kisumu.
We work with communities throughout Kenya to find practical, lasting solutions that help people lift themselves out of poverty while safeguarding the planet. We focus on increasing resilience to disasters and improving sanitation and hygiene. We also help people use clean cooking fuels and access electricity, whilst supporting smallholder farmers to adapt to climate change and prosper.
“The gap between the rich and poor in Kenya continues to grow. We can help them turn things around”
Our Aims in Kenya
Resilience that protects
The driest regions of Kenya are getting drier because of climate change. Pastoral farmers living in these places face a daily struggle to find enough water to drink and to keep their animals healthy. But a unique combination of solar innovation, skills training and knowledge sharing is changing lives. Read more…
The drought-ravaged region of Turkana in north-west Kenya is parched after more than four years without substantial rain. Rivers have dried up and people have lost their lives digging boreholes to collect groundwater.
Climate change is making the problem worse. Thousands of animals have perished because they don’t have clean water to drink. The pastoral farmers who rely on these animals for their livelihoods are struggling. Not only do they not have enough water to give to their animals, they don’t have enough to drink themselves, or to cook and wash with.
A unique combination of solar innovation, skills training and knowledge sharing is already changing lives in this parched region. Families are harnessing the power of the sun to give them the water they so desperately need. We’re working with communities and local authorities to keep the water freely available to everyone. This makes our solutions work for years to come.
In the coming years, we’ll be partnering with more at risk communities to help them become resilient to drought and other disasters. We plan to work with 180,000 of the most vulnerable and marginalised people to help them thrive in the face of climate change.
Cities fit for people
In Kenya’s cities, many people live in informal settlements without access to clean water and using inadequate toilets shared by several families. Our work helps people living in slums to maintain good health and a decent standard of living for their families. Read more…
Kisumu is Kenya’s third largest city. Overcrowding, bad hygiene practices and a lack of proper services means that water borne diseases such as dysentery and typhoid are common. Open defecation is widespread. Kisumu’s high water table and frequent floods create additional health hazards – flood water contaminated with waste flows through the street when it rains.
We’re working with partners to put toilets and handwashing facilities into homes, community centres and schools. Community volunteers are championing handwashing and good hygiene and helping their peers with advice and guidance on avoiding disease. Girls are being targeted with advice on how to remain clean and healthy when they have their periods.
Meanwhile, local labourers and pit emptiers are being trained to build new toilets and empty the toilet pits safely, offering a valuable service to their community. Will be scaling up these low-cost and community-led solutions over the next year, supporting 150,000 people living in low-income urban settlements.
Energy that transforms
Few rural households in Kenya have access to grid electricity. Most still use dangerous kerosene for lighting, and wood or charcoal for cooking. We’re empowering women in Kenya to enable them and their families to reap the benefits of sustainable energy. Read more…
In Kenya, traditional sources of fuel are dwindling and there is strict restriction of wood harvesting in government forests. This particularly affects women, because they’re usually responsible for fuel collection. When wood is scarce it takes longer for women and girls to collect, which restricts their educational and economic opportunities.
Improved cook stoves use a third of the fuel of traditional stoves, saving money and reducing deforestation. They also reduce indoor air pollution, improving health. Briquettes use waste materials like charcoal dust, sawdust and other household biomass waste like coconut husks, which are compacted and can then be used in stoves, providing an affordable technology that is a safe and a cleaner energy source than firewood. Meanwhile, solar products range from household lighting to USB battery chargers, offering a range of safe, clean and affordable energy options.
When women demonstrate and sell these products to other women, the uptake is often significantly higher. So, in a business sector currently dominated by men, there is huge potential for women entrepreneurs to make a difference and to increase the use of clean and safe energy fuel and products. There is also clear evidence that improving incomes of women translates into an increased investment in family and their wellbeing, creating stronger, happier and more independent family units.
Farming that works
Agriculture can help reduce poverty, raise incomes and improve food security for 80% of the world’s poor, who live in rural areas and whose work largely depends on farming. Sustainable agriculture ensures a constant food supply and food security for the population. Read more…
In Kenya we are working with struggling small holder farmers to make agriculture work better for them, many of whom are women, so they can adapt to climate change and achieve a good standard of living. The objective of the project is to establish vibrant and inclusive rural economies in East Africa by promoting agricultural livelihoods for young people, underpinned by agro-ecological principles and practices. The project aims to break the cycles of low productivity and increasing rural poverty, through a holistic and gendered approach which will enable young men and women to increase their income through agri-business.
Margaret Kariuku was a Kenyan mother of four who had struggled to find a stable income to provide for herself and her children. With our help, she launched a briquette business in 2015. Two years later she won the Energia Women Entrepreneurship Award – a prize that recognises women who have championed sustainable energy in their community.
Funding partners for our work in Kenya include:
- DFID (Department for International Development – UK)
- Poul Due Jensen Foundation (Grundfos)
- GIZ (Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit)
- IKEA Foundation
- Comic Relief
- IFC (International Finance Corporation)
- Coffey International
- OPML (Oxford Policy Management)
- FAO (Food and Agricultural Organization of the United Nations)
- Comic Relief
Clean surrounding poster
Facts and myths poster
Social distancing poster
Self quarantine poster
Protect yourself poster
Public transport poster
What to do poster
Signs and symptoms poster
Postal address: Practical Action, P.O. Box 39493 – 00623, Nairobi, Kenya
Street address: Methodist Ministries Centre
Block C (1st Floor)
Off Gitanga Road
Telephone: +254 20 2595 311
+254 20 2595 312
+254 20 2595 313
+254 20 2595 314
+254 20 2595 315
Fax: +254 20 25953116
For media enquiries please contact Andrew Heath by email or by phone: +44 1926 634552 or
Mobile: +44 (0) 7800 884 267