Marsabit Kenya (UK Aid)

Country Background

Kenya is a country of many contrasts, from its landscape to demographics, and more so its social and economic inequalities. Kenya is one of the most unequal countries in the sub-region. A large percentage of its population of 45 million outside the affluent urban minority, are poor. Access to basic quality services such as health care, education, clean water and sanitation, is a luxury for many people. The project takes place in northern Kenya in Marsabit county, a mostly arid and semi-arid area where nomadic pastoralists make up most of the population. Within Marsabit county, 92% of the population live below the poverty line.

Project Objectives

The project is funded by the UK Department for International Development over the period 2014-2016. It seeks to reduce poverty for 45,000 rural pastoralists and traders by improving income-generating opportunities in three livestock markets in Marsabit county. If pastoralists are able and willing to sell their livestock at fair prices, the income benefits families directly. Child malnutrition and opportunities to access education are increased. This is particularly the case if women traders are encouraged to participate in the markets given their role in providing for their families.


The project follows a community based approach focused on

  • Training community members in running livestock markets,
  • Facilitating partnerships between livestock market committee members, the government and the community,
  • Promoting the markets among pastoralists
  • Encouraging and empowering women traders
  • Introducing external livestock traders to the market
  • Linking traders to financial institutions to lend money to finance increased trade
Success is measured by building thriving sustainable markets with increased sales, increasing the number and capability of women traders and most importantly increasing the income of pastoralists such that they can provide for their families more effectively.