SRHR and Climate Change
Empowering Communities in Kilifi County
Majority of the residents in Kilifi County heavily rely on fishing and other available natural resources for their livelihood. This has been impacted by climate change through extreme drought and flooding. The conceptual links between reproductive health and poverty are historical and go back to the period in which the reduction in the fertility rate was essentially considered the only or the most effective strategy for reducing poverty. The project addresses the interlinkages between Sexual Reproductive Health Rights and Climate Change to enhance community resilience and promote sustainable adaptation practices.
The training by the project was an eye-opener to the BMU and the community at large as it provided an opportunity for learning and awareness creation on climate change, SRHR, sustainable fisheries, environment conservation, and gender and equality. We are now able to practice the learnings for the betterment of our families and community. We are also seeing a decline in GBV within our landing site and the BMU areas of coverage. The health outreaches by CSA and the health facility have also increased the number of community members seeking health services leading to healthy population. The outreaches have boosted the uptake of services, especially contraception and cancer screening, and have created more awareness of sexual reproductive health.
Chairman, Uyombo Beach Management Unit
Through advocacy efforts both at the national and county level, the project works to influence the inclusion of SRHR as an adaptation and resilience strategy into the National Climate Change Action Plan and for its implementation. The project also works closely with the Directorate of Climate Change under the Department of Environment, Climate Change and Solid Waste Management at the county level, in reviewing the Climate Change policy and Act to come up with progressive legislation. In the empowerment component, the project works with the structured community groups by training them on SRHR, Climate Change, and gender equality and for those trained to also reach their fellow group members and the community at large.
The project works closely with Uyombo Beach Management Unit, Watamu Beach Management Unit and Gede Community Forest Association, located in Kilifi North sub-county, Kilifi County. By capacity strengthening these vulnerable groups, specifically the women, the project aims to increase their SRHR awareness, promote gender equality and enhance their ability to participate in climate change adaptation efforts such as the implementation of nature-based solutions.
The SRHR and Climate Change project aims to empower vulnerable communities in Kilifi County to be more aware of climate change and its effects and to adopt sustainable practices as well as prioritising their sexual reproductive health rights and needs all intending to build their level of resilience. The project has trained 200 BMU members as ToTs within Kilifi North and they have since reached 1500 other community members.