We are the main convening platform that provides space for a structured and coordinated CSOs engagement with (national and county) governments, private sector, media and academia in Kenya.
With citizens at the centre, the SDGs Kenya Forum engages all these stakeholders to implement, monitor and report on SDGs and the Agenda 2030
About 57% of Kenya’s population are among the global P20 (the poorest 20% of the global population). Based on estimates of extreme poverty ($1.90/day), Coast, Eastern and North Eastern regions of Kenya would have to maintain near record levels of poverty eradication to eliminate extreme poverty by 2030.
Target 1.4: By 2030, ensure that all men and women, in particular, the poor and the vulnerable, have equal rights to economic resources, as well as access to basic services, ownership and control over land and other forms of property, inheritance, natural resources, appropriate new technology and financial services, including microfinance
Target 1.5: By 2030, build the resilience of the poor and those in vulnerable situations and reduce their exposure and vulnerability to climate-related extreme events and other economic, social and environmental shocks and disasters
While agriculture contributes 30% to gross domestic product , the country meets the needs of its people through both formal and informal imports of maize, rice and wheat. Food insecurity in Kenya is closely linked to historical underperformance of the agricultural sector and the lack of consistent focus on food productivity and sufficiency at household level pose as challenges. However, the Government of Kenya has been increasing budgetary allocation to the State Department for Crop Development.
Whereas the target to achieve 100% food and nutrition security by 2022 is ambitious considering that the proportion of the population living below the food poverty line is 32%;, several initiatives are in place to support the achievement of these targets in Kenya. These include the establishment of a Common Program Framework, the existence of devolved government, close collaboration of the national government and development partners on the issue, particularly those most affected in arid and semi-arid land (ASAL) and the establishment of the National Drought Management Authority in Kenya in 2016.
Target 2.1: By 2030, end hunger and ensure access by all people, in particular the poor and people in vulnerable situations, including infants, to safe, nutritious and sufficient food all year round
Recognising no food security without food safety, Consumer Unity and Trust Society (CUTS)-Nairobi under the Voice for Change Partnership Project is leading the dairy food safety and loss reduction advocacy engagements to enhance consumer welfare in the dairy sector by improving milk safety and reducing milk losses. Apart from providing evidence, CUTS-Nairobi undertook several interventions including providing forums to share the existing and emerging issues on food safety and ultimately enhance consumer awareness and protection. It also built the capacity of religion- and community-based organisations to be effective consumer champions in pilot counties (Laikipia, Nyandarua, Murang'a and Nakuru.)
Target 2.4: By 2030, ensure sustainable food production systems and implement resilient agricultural practices that increase productivity and production, that help maintain ecosystems, that strengthen capacity for adaptation to climate change, extreme weather, drought, flooding and other disasters and that progressively improve land and soil quality
Agriculture and Climate Risk Enterprise Ltd (ACRE) Africa’s project, Downscaling Agro-Weather Advisories and Index Insurance for Sorghum Farmers, aimed at piloting and scaling up of innovative private sector investments in agricultural adaptation and low carbon, climate-resilient services and assets. Implemented in Nyandarua, Kisumu, Siaya and Homa Bay between 2016 – 2018 emphasised agro-climate and agro-weather information services to smallholder farmers to address climate/weather risks. For instance, pre-season alerts and notifications were communicated to farmers via an information and communications technology platform and local channels, reaching over 4,000 farmers in three years. The exit survey indicated that 85% of the farmers made climate-informed plans and decisions.
Target 2.a: Increase investment, including through enhanced international cooperation, in rural infrastructure, agricultural research and extension services, technology development and plant and livestock gene banks in order to enhance agricultural productive capacity in developing countries, in particular least developed countries
ACRE Africa contributed to SDG 2 through its Getting Farmers Insurance Ready – Bridging the Protection Gap implemented from 2018 in Bungoma, Busia, Kakamega, Siaya, Kisumu, Embu, Meru and Uasin Gishu counties. The project aims at the local communities’ trusted social structures to promote uptake of insurance services. The programme operates using the Village Champion Model – a peer-to-peer knowledge transfer channel model. The village-based change mechanisms are in the form of a network of rural change agents, called champions, who are trained in good agricultural practices; financial literacy and insurance. The ACRE Africa project’s outcomes are: 362,050 farmers trained in good agricultural practices; 650 rural change agents (champions) recruited to train farmers using a peer-to-peer model; and 3,625 farmers purchased insurance.
Presently, the country has a proportion of 14 doctors per 100,000 population and 42 nurses per 100,000 population as at 2016. This is below the World Health Organisation’s recommendation of 21.7 doctors per 100,000 population and 228 nurses per 100,000 population. There is regional disparity within the distribution of existing health workers in hard to reach areas.
Upscaling of insurance coverage for the vulnerable, referral hospitals construction, availability of health personnel and specialised equipment for hospitals are the top priorities of The Government of Kenya in its effort towards universal health coverage. The National Hospital Insurance Fund covers 6.2 million Kenyans or 15% of the population. The government aims to increase the number of Kenyans covered under the health insurance scheme to 13 million by 2022.
The government of Kenya (national) provides free primary education and free day secondary education as part of its efforts to achieve SDG 4 to achieve universal primary and secondary education. County governments oversee implementation of early childhood development education and technical and vocational education and training.
Still, education is one sector that clearly depicts the close linkage between poverty and schooling. There is inequality across regions in terms of households with a child in or out of school. Some counties which are poor under SDG 1 in the National Voluntary Report, such as Mandera, Wajir and Garissa, register the highest share of children out of school - more than 50% of households having a child out of school; while Nyeri and Murang’a, are ahead of Nairobi with an impressive record of no child out of school. The link between poverty and schooling is also reflected in total years of schooling. Again, inequality across counties is evident in the share of low years of schooling. Turkana, Mandera and Wajir take the lead with more than half of households registering low years of schooling. Nairobi, Machakos, Bomet, Kiambu and Nyeri have a record low share of less than 3% of households with low years of schooling.
Target 4.1: By 2030, ensure that all girls and boys complete free, equitable and quality primary and secondary education leading to relevant and effective learning outcomes
Twaweza East Africa under its flagship programme, Uwezo, has been producing evidence on the learning levels of children and their distribution in the country for the last 9 years. Between September 2016 and July 2017, Twaweza East Africa under the Husika project reassessed pupil and teacher absenteeism in Baringo and Kilifi counties. It reported that there was an 8 percentage points’ improvement in appreciation that teacher absenteeism was a problem in the counties between baseline and end-line; 5 percentage points’ improvement in teacher attendance; 11 percentage points’ improvement in appreciation that pupil absenteeism was a problem among community members; and 3 percentage points’ improvement in pupils’ attendance. The programme reached over 5,000 children, 1,700 teachers and 74 local level administrators.
Target 4.5: By 2030, eliminate gender disparities in education and ensure equal access to all levels of education and vocational training for the vulnerable, including persons with disabilities, indigenous peoples and children in vulnerable situations
Since 2017, VSO Kenya facilitated access to quality and inclusive education for children and adolescents with disabilities in Kisumu, Siaya and Wajir counties for 368 children with disabilities (197 boys and 171 girls) and 60 adolescents with disabilities (34 male and 26 female). Under its Education and Empowerment project for out of school girls, it has managed to reach 200 extremely marginalised girls from Kisumu and Siaya. The organisation trained 104 teachers (27 male, 77 female) on appropriate teaching methodologies for deaf children with enrolment of 185 deaf pupils (101 boys, 84 girls) in pre-primary and lower primary; and family members (131 male, 205 female) of deaf children equipping them with sign language skills.
Target 4.6: By 2030, ensure that all youth and a substantial proportion of adults, both men and women, achieve literacy and numeracy
Informed by the Uwezo report (2015), ZiziAfrique chose three counties, Turkana, Tana River and Bungoma to implement the Accelerated Learning Program (ALP) between January 2018 and June 2019. These counties ranked among the bottom 7 with every 10 learners in grade 3, only 3 had the expected reading ability. ALP is designed to reach learners in middle school (grades 4 and 5) falling behind in foundational literacy and numeracy skills. The goal of the program is to ensure that all children can “read with understanding” and “reason with numbers”. ZiziAfrique reports that the programme has so far benefited 777 children (376 boys and 401 girls), but the ultimate target is to reach 3,600 by end of June 2019. About 31% of learners enrolled for the program had progressed and could read a basic story in Kiswahili. This was a 15% improvement from 17% who progressed to story level in the first cycle of the learning camps.
Sexual and gender-based violence is one of the most pervasive human rights violations in the world. Whereas there has been tremendous progress in the formulation of law in this area such as the Protection against Domestic Violence Act, 2015, gaps still exist in implementation of the law. Additionally, there is a notable vacuum in available official data on violence and exploitation against women.
In this regard, GROOTS Kenya (a national movement of grassroots women-led community-based groups) conducted community led research on violence against women in Laikipia, Kiambu, and Kakamega and Kitui counties. Data collected and analysed by GROOTS Kenya show that the majority of violence takes place within the home setup with 84% in Laikipia, 79% in Kitui, 77% in Kiambu and 75% in Kakamega county. In all the cases, intimate partners are the key perpetrators with 33% in Kiambu, 47% in Kakamega, 35% in Kitui and 49% in Laikipia.
Unpaid care and domestic work
There is little appreciation and recognition of unpaid care and domestic work (UCDW) in Kenya. Unpaid care and domestic work is indispensable in contributing to the well-being of individuals, families and societies. Female workers spend more time in UCDW than male counterparts. CSOs, such as GROOTS Kenya and Oxfam in Kenya have been conducting assessment on UCDW in counties and urban informal settlement areas, respectively. Data from four counties indicate that in Kakamega, a female worker spends 84% of her time in UCDW, which is 5.3 times more than a male worker.
Access to ownership and control over land
Despite various progressive pieces of legislation enacted in the recent past, Kenyan society is still predominantly patriarchal, and women are constantly side-lined and discriminated against particularly with regard to land ownership and control.
Target 5.4: Recognize and value unpaid care and domestic work through the provision of public services, infrastructure and social protection policies and the promotion of shared responsibility within the household and the family as nationally appropriate.
Since 2015, Oxfam in Kenya has been working on addressing unpaid care work under a project on promoting livelihoods and inclusion of vulnerable women working in the urban informal economy. The project is working with 30,000 women living in the Nairobi informal settlements of Mukuru, Kibera, Kawangware, Mathare and Korogocho. Oxfam in Kenya sensitised a total number of 11,185 people (3,075 men and 8,110 women) UCDW. Oxfam in Kenya supported women from the informal settlements in the campaign to increase budget allocation to water and early childhood development education (ECDE) that have been identified as care reducing infrastructure. The campaign at ward and county levels resulted successfully in consideration of these two services in the 2018–2022 County Integrated Development Plans (CIDP).
GROOTS Kenya together with community champions lobbied for changes in budgetary allocation to ease burdens on those carrying out UCDW. As a result, in Kitui county KES100 million was allocated to promote and train communities on the installation of clean cook stoves. It also successfully lobbied for increased allocation to water infrastructure development in Laikipia whereby several dams are being constructed to address water scarcity in the area.
Target 5.a: Undertake reforms to give women equal rights to economic resources, as well as access to ownership and control over land and other forms of property, financial services, inheritance and natural resources, in accordance with national laws
To enhance financial access to grassroots women, GROOTS Kenya established the GROOTS Savings and Credit Co-Operative (SACCO). The SACCO is a financial vehicle for women to access larger loan amounts at flexible and affordable rates.
Similar to access to education and health care services, inequality in access to water and sanitation services across counties in Kenya is staggering. While 80% of households in ten counties have access to water from improved sources, five counties have less than 40% of households having access to the service.
Strong domestic resource mobilisation allows a country to meet set development priorities. Kenya’s domestic resource efforts are frustrated by tax evasion, leakages and wastage. The government loses a sizable amount of revenue through tax evasion and corruption while few citizens invest in wealth creation leading to resource gaps. Illicit financial flows divert funds otherwise meant for realisation of SDGs in the wrong direction.
Target 17.18: By 2020, enhance capacity-building support to developing countries, including for least developed countries and small island developing States, to increase significantly the availability of high-quality, timely and reliable data disaggregated by income, gender, age, race, ethnicity, migratory status, disability, geographic location and other characteristics relevant in national contexts
The Open Institute has worked with county governments of Makueni, Elgeyo Marakwet, Kiambu and West Pokot to provide a technology platform to open data and provide citizens with data and information that they can use to monitor and also to strengthen citizen engagement. The Open County Platform (www.opencounty.org) was developed for county management teams to be guided to manage development results more effectively, as well as provide a platform for engaging citizens and to receive feedback. The platform contains various datasets that showcase multiple stakeholders on the state of various sectors in the counties. Presently, the data therein is being broadly used by county governments to overcome challenges they face in actualising their ambitions for good governance, integrity, transparency, and accountability. Budget data and ‘About the County’ are the most frequently-accessed pages. More than 65% of the visits are from Nairobi.
Target 17.3: Mobilize additional financial resources for developing countries from multiple sources
CSOs continue to produce evidence and lobby at national, regional and international levels for equitable global partnership. Once such example is Reality of Aid Africa Network (RoA Africa), which researches and presents comprehensive reports on effectiveness of aid in Africa. Through the reports and analysis, the network has been instrumental in lobbying for appropriate aid-related policies. In 2018, it assessed the level of preparedness for the Busan Agenda among Youth and Child Rights CSOs for Kenya and three other African countries. Using regional and international platforms, such as the Second - High Level UN Conference on South- South Cooperation, (RoA Africa) continues to champion for a human-rights based, social and environmental justice approach towards South-South cooperation as well as the realisation of SDGs.
Kenya loses 30 – 40% of produce, equivalent to 50 million of bags valued at KES 30 billion every year. Farmers lose earnings from their produce and waste labour due to poor skills in produce management, lack of storage facilities and the poor state of the road infrastructure and limited access to markets.
According to reports, KES 150 billion worth of food went to waste, either tossed out or left to rot in 2017, the same year the country was hit with drought. In that year, maize producers lost KES 29.6 billion to postharvest wastage due to rodents and poor post-harvest handling. The harvest was also affected by aflatoxin, a toxin produced by fungi due to exposure to moisture. The volume of maize lost during this period is estimated to be equivalent to what Kenya produces during short rains between September and December.
Kenya does not have a post-harvest policy.
Food losses and waste are closely linked to livelihoods and economic empowerment (SDG 1), food security and nutrition (SDG 2), improved water quality (SDG 6), sensitisation and education on eco-manures other than the chemicalised fertilisers that oxidase the soil (SDG4), women farmers (SDG5), and climate change (SDG 13).
Target 12.3: By 2030, halve per capita global food waste at the retail and consumer levels and reduce food losses along production and supply chains, including post-harvest losses
TechnoServe, the Rockefeller Initiative and YieldWise Initiative teamed up to mitigate waste in fruit production with 20,000 farmers in four regions of Kenya. Farmers are offered training on optimal harvesting times and practices. In Embu county, the project piloted a solar drying facility to add value on mango productions. Innovative post-harvest technologies are being promoted in the project areas. Since 2015, YieldWise have trained more than 15,000 farmers on post-harvest loss technologies while TechnoServe has also brought together a variety of local and regional buyers, including fresh market traders, exporters, mango dryers and processors, to establish volume purchase agreements with YieldWise farmer business groups.
Target 12.5: By 2030, substantially reduce waste generation through prevention, reduction, recycling and reuse. The successful implementation of the single-use plastic ban in Kenya was championed by TEAM Environment KENYA, linking it to target 12.5 and also SDG 11 on sustainable cities and communities. The CSO carried out sensitisation campaigns and awareness creation programmes in various counties for at least five months before the ban took full effect.
Kenya’s economy relies heavily on rain-fed agriculture and tourism – two sectors that are susceptible to climate change. As the world gets warmer due to human activity, the country is hit frequently by extreme weather events, leading to droughts and floods.
Pastoral communities are the most vulnerable to climate change. These communities are people of the land and nature keeping large herds of cattle over expansive landscapes. Pastoralism is a traditional livelihood production system supported by indigenous knowledge systems, practices, and institutions. It is a climate-dependent production system and hence vulnerable to climate variability including climate change.
The country has put in place guiding policy documents designed to promote environmental sustainability. These are the Green Economy Strategy, the National Policy on Climate Finance and the National Climate Change Action Plan.
For a country like Kenya, that continues to bear the brunt of climate change, despite its low levels of emission, SDG 13 is closely linked to alternative and adaptive livelihoods (SDG 1), food security compromised often by drought (SDG 2), health affected by climate-related epidemics (SDG 3), learning disrupted by droughts and floods (SDG 4), availability of water (SDG 6), affordable and clean energy to adapt and mitigate climate change (SDG 7), sustainability of settlements in cities prone to natural hazard disasters (SDG 11). Cross-cutting issues are the vulnerability of certain sections of Kenyan society to climate change, specifically PWDs (SDG 10) and women (SDG 5). Combating climate change rests mainly on global partnerships (SDG 17).
Target 13.1: Strengthen resilience and adaptive capacity to climate-related hazards and natural disasters in all countries
The country's biological resources are diverse, with an estimated 35,000 known species of animals, plants and micro-organisms. Sustainable utilization of biodiversity is a key factor for the country to realize its industrial development as biodiversity is the basis for provisioning food, industrial inputs, firewood, construction materials, medicines, ecosystem functions, or aesthetics. These resources form the basic source of livelihood for the country's population especially since about 80% of the country's population directly or indirectly relies on biodiversity for survival. Further, developing sectors in the country, ranging from agro-based industries to service industries such as tourism rely on biological resources.
The management of Kenya's biodiversity resources is characterized by some weaknesses. Often, people are unable to make informed decisions regarding biodiversity management as they lack adequate information on the non-consumptive values of the resources. While direct use values are well understood, the same may not apply for indirect use values such as ecosystem functions, maintaining water cycles, regulation, photosynthetic fixation of solar energy, production and protection of soil, storage and cycling of essential nutrients, absorption and breakdown of pollutants. Infrastructure is inadequate to enhance better utilization anti-management of biodiversity. As a result, the tourism sector has declined marginally although it remains as a key foreign exchange earner. The overall development of local and international markets for biodiversity products has also not been satisfactory.
Target 15.5: Take urgent and significant action to reduce the degradation of natural habitats, halt the loss of biodiversity and, by 2020, protect and prevent the extinction of threatened species
Africa Wildlife Foundation (AWF) offers support for community conservation. AWF trained community wildlife scouts in Taita Taveta to leverage local knowledge for conservation. In the LUMO Community Wildlife Sanctuary, scouts of the conservancy were trained on how to enforce grazing laws effectively and address incidences of human-wildlife conflict.
Target 15.c: Enhance global support for efforts to combat poaching and trafficking of protected species, including by increasing the capacity of local communities to pursue sustainable livelihood opportunities
In its endeavour to empower pastoralist communities, AWF facilitates extension services and market access for herders in Ol Pejeta Conservancy, Laikipia County.
State and non-state actors have been undertaking joint intervention in violent conflicts in counties. There are inter-communal conflicts in Baringo, Wajir, Mandera, Nakuru, Narok, Bungoma, Kilifi, Garissa, Marsabit, Isiolo; and boundary conflicts between counties such as Meru and Isiolo, West Pokot and Turkana, Nakuru and Narok, Isiolo and Garissa, and Tana River and Garissa.
Target 16.4: By 2030, significantly reduce illicit financial and arms flows, strengthen the recovery and return of stolen assets and combat all forms of organized crime
CSOs offered training for police officers on arms control and management in Baringo and Laikipia counties. To contribute to proper management of legally held firearms and also build the capacities of law enforcement agents to spearhead the campaigns on dangers of illicit proliferation of small arms, Security Research Information Centre-Kenya, in partnership with the government, held numerous training forums in Baringo and Laikipia. The training centred mostly on physical stockpile management and raising awareness on ongoing international, regional and local mitigation strategies. Through the programme, 5 police stations in Laikipia and Baringo were supplied with computers fitted with a software meant to facilitate digital storage and movement of arms.
Target 16.10 Ensure public access to information and protect fundamental freedoms, in accordance with national legislation and international agreements
CSOs carried out awareness campaigns during and after passing the Access to Information Act (2016). The campaigns targeted public officials both at national and county levels, and civil society working on diverse sectoral issues, citizens, media and private sector. There needs to be more robust awareness creation on both supply and demand side
According to the latest official survey, Kenya Integrated Household Budget Survey 2015 – 2016, persons with disabilities (PWDs) are 2.8% of the total population. Meru reports the highest number of PWDs (8.5%), followed by Vihiga (6.3%) and Kirinyaga (5.8%) counties. The main type of disability reported by the counties is visual impairment.
Persons with disability report having difficulty in engaging in economic activities.
Target 10.2: By 2030, empower and promote the social, economic and political inclusion of all, irrespective of age, sex, disability, race, ethnicity, origin, religion or economic or other status
United Disabled Persons Kenya with support from the National Council of PWD implemented a project to empower PWDs to participate in the voter education process in all counties. Under the project, it trained 30 PWDs on campaign management. The project also successfully trained elected and nominated PWDs on their mandate to represent PWDs in various assemblies.
The Bio-Intensive Agricultural Training Centre is one of the rural and urban development programmes under the umbrella of the Methodist Church of Kenya in Kaaga, Meru county. In collaboration with Ecumenical Disability Advocacy Network (EDAN), the Centre undertook construction of ramps on the walk ways to the centre’s demonstration farms; accommodation rooms, fish ponds and common rooms to improve access for PWDs. They can now access the centre easily and be part of any activity being held there.
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