Dak Achana II

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The Dak Achana II program (also known as the "Sustainable Livelihood Security for Vulnerable Households in Nyanza Province, Kenya" program, was carried out by CARE International in seven districts of Kenya's Nyanza Province (Nyando, Migori, Suba, Homabay, Kisumu, Rachuonyo, and Bondo Districts) between 2004 and 2008.[1] All seven districts border Lake Victoria. The name Dak Achana means "Healthy Households" in the local Luo language.

"The program was funded by USAID under P.L.480 Title II from October 1 2003 to September 30 2008 with a no cost extension to September 30, 2009. Funding was mainly from monetization ($5,929,235), Section 202(e) ($914,115), ITSH($322,578) and commodities for direct distribution."[1]

The program had five components: Improved Agriculture for Smallholders in Western Kenya (TASK); Water, Sanitation and Education for Health (WASEH); Community Savings and Mobilization (COSAMO); HIV/AIDS-LIFE Initiative; and Food for Work (FFW).

Project Area Demographics

The project area covers 22 percent of the entire Lake Victoria Basin. This is one of the most densely populated areas in Kenya, with about 300 people per km2. It is also one of the poorest rural populations, with an average poverty level of over 55 percent (WRI et al 2007). This region also suffers from the highest rate of HIV/AIDS in Kenya.[1]

Bondo District:[2]

  • Bondo Constituency: 157,522 people in 37,296 households, with a population density of 266 people per km2.
  • Rarieda Constituency: 134,558 people in 31,033 households, with a population density of 334 people per km2.

Homa Bay District:

  • Ndhiwa Constituency: 172,212 people in 37,123 households, with a population density of 242 people per km2.
  • Rangwe Constituency: 194,408 people in 42,417 households, with a population density of 424 people per km2.

Kisumu District:

  • Kisumu Town East: 264,277 people in 67,291 households, with a population density of 1812 people per km2.
  • Kisumu Town West: 139,933 people in 33,232 households, with a population density of 972 people per km2.
  • Kisumu Rural: 144,907 people in 32,992 households, with a population density of 404 people per km2.

Migori District:

  • Migori Constituency: 191,248 people in 40,093 households, with a population density of 390 people per km2.
  • Nyatike Constituency: 144,625 people in 30,423 households, with a population density of 214 people per km2.
  • Rongo Constituency: 209,460 people in 44,769 households, with a population density of 450 people per km2.
  • Uriri Constituency: 115,751 people in 23,126 households, with a population density of 304 people per km2.

Nyando District:

  • Muhoroni Constituency: 145,764 people in 33,551 households, with a population density of 218 people per km2.
  • Nyakach Constituency: 133,041 people in 29,214 households, with a population density of 372 people per km2.
  • Nyando Constituency: 141,037 people in 30,439 households, with a population density of 341 people per km2.

Rachuonyo District

  • Karachuonyo Constituency: 162,045 people in 34,534 households, with a population density of 367 people per km2.
  • Kasipul Kabondo Constituency: 220,666 people in 46,861 households, with a population density of 433 people per km2.

Suba District:

  • Gwasi Constituency: 103,054 people in 21,416 households, with a population of 161 people per km2.
  • Mbita Constituency: 111,409 people in 23,904 households, with a population density of 265 people per km2.

Project Components

Agricultural interventions (TASK)

"TASK aimed at increasing food and income of vulnerable households by focussing [sic] on improved agricultural and natural resources management practices, diversification of agricultural production and increased access to household income. Access to food would be increased through improved farmer organization and marketing of high value commercial agricultural crops."[1]

The project encouraged farmers to grow green gram (mung beans), kale, watermelon, tomatoes, pineapple, Basmati rice, and sunflowers in order to diversify their crops and to produce crops that can be sold. In the project area, the most commonly cultivated crops are maize, sorghum, beans, and sweet potatoes, but the crops that generate the most income are tomatoes, kale, watermelon, and butternut squash.[1] The project initially encouraged farmers to grow cotton but found the crop unsuccessful and switched away from it to horticultural crops. The project also encouraged "the adoption of new... agricultural technologies including use of high quality seeds, fertilizers and pesticides."

TASK also helped farmers undertake contract farming in which a company or organization supplies inputs (seeds and fertilizer) and then purchases the harvest. By the end of the project, farmers participating in TASK had participated in contact farming with CARE International, East African Growers, East African Seed Company, the National Irrigation Board, Nakumatt supermarket, and others. Another part of the project was to increase the number of families using irrigation.

Water, Sanitation and Education for Health (WASEH)

"WASEH focused on improving the biological utilization of food by reducing the incidence of diarrhoeal [sic] diseases and intestinal parasites, along with other diseases that impede optimal absorption of nutrients. This would be done through improved access to potable water, improved sanitation and health education."[1]

Community Savings Mobilization Component (COSAMO)

"COSAMO sought to enhance increased savings and access to credit from personal savings. Poor families would also benefit through training in small business practices, increased access to capital and consequent investment in micro-entrepreneurial activities such as petty-commerce, and agricultural transformation."[1]

HIV/AIDS Life Initiative Component

"The Initiative facilitated increased availability of food to Orphaned and Vulnerable Children (OVC) through food distribution. CARE working through one or more intermediary institutions channelled food resources to local Community Based Organizations (CBOs) e.g. churches. The staff from the CBOs were trained on food distribution, storage and on nutrition and were in charge of food distribution."[1]

Food for Work (FFW) Component

"FFW blended with TASK, WASEH and COSAMO components to increase both food availability and accessibility by concentrating on improving productivity of small-scale community owned irrigation systems. De-silting canals and earth pans to enhance water retention

for future use and training farming households on sustainable use of irrigation water. As a result, produce from the schemes for both domestic use and market access was enhanced. The major achievement of restoring canals, dykes, earth pans and any other water structure was perceived to be a significant decrease in occurrence of flooding and in turn reduced incidences of water borne diseases and human trauma. CARE, working through a sub-grantee, Victoria Institute for Research on Environment and Development (VIRED) International channelled food that was used to implement the project."[1]

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