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Red Cross, tech firm to enhance food security

15 July 2014, 10:14

Nairobi - Thousands of people are poised to benefit from schemes the Kenya Red Cross Society (KRSC) and a global technology firm have initiated in the country.

The partnership between KRSC and the Alcatel-Lucent Foundation seeks to enhance food security and livelihood through sustainable and appropriate technologies, mitigate the impact of climate change through protection of the springs, enhance access to clean and safe drinking water in the community and strengthen and build the capacity of the Kajiado branch thereby enhancing the branch volunteers.

The Alcatel-Lucent Foundation made a donation to the KRCS in 2011 to help combat the severe humanitarian crisis devastating East Africa, brought on by the worst drought in some 60 years.

The donation was a result of a Global Matching Gift Programme launched by the Alcatel-Lucent Foundation for Alcatel-Lucent employees.

In 2012 and 2013 the foundation renewed its support by funding a new programme of KRCS to improve food security and livelihood through climate change adaptation and environmental conservation in Inkisanjani – Loitokitok, Kajiado, by 2016.

The project targets the rural population in Enkaroni Sub-locations, Kuku location in Loitokitok, Kajiado County, on the slopes of Mount Kilimanjaro, near the Tanzanian border.

Once completed, these components would directly benefit approximately 9 500 people with the irrigation component directly benefiting to more than 40 families.

Another project is the No Limits initiative.

From a distance of 240 kilometres from Nairobi, the capital, a group of employees from Alcatel-Lucent East Africa accompanied by their Country Senior Officer travelled to Loitoktok to support the KRCS during two days of full volunteering actions.

Loitoktok is located in the South Eastern Kenya, at the international border with Tanzania.

The town lies within the foothills and in full view of the famous Mount Kilimanjaro.

“Armed with energy, enthusiasm, some stationeries and snacks for the kids in the community, a group of 12 employees boarded the van and left Alcatel-Lucent East Africa offices in Nairobi Kenya for a journey that turned out to be adventurous as well as educational!” said Philip Sakwa Human Resources Director of Alcatel-Lucent East Africa.

“The sight of the towering Mt. Kilimanjaro was a sign that we were closing in to our final destination. The members of the local community and KRCS staff were waiting for our arrival and we were so excited to start right away our two-day activities with the local community and the KRCS team,” he added.

The project is an ambitious one and its progression is said to be impressive.

The KRCS programme also supports activities designed to meet the immediate needs of the disadvantaged and rural area affected, including training and innovative techniques and necessary skills to become self sufficient. It helps the local community acquire life skills that will lead to a healthier and more prosperous life.

“We are committed to improve and transform peoples’ lives in the communities we live and work and we hope that individuals and organizations will also support the KRCS in their projects. A volunteer serves others by supporting a cause without expecting anything return and this is the most efficient way to show solidarity and make a difference,” said Tony Wood, Country Senior Officer of Alcatel-Lucent in East Africa.

He added, “It was a really enriching moment and experience! It teaches you humility to see some of the obstacles they had to overcome to get out in the community and make their own contribution. I look forward for the next session.”

 – CAJ News

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