Friday, 1 April 2011


The United States African Development Foundation (USADF) has committed $10 million over the next five years to serve the Turkana people in Northern Kenya. The focus of all the projects is in food security and income generation. USADF is working directly with Turkana communities to assess needs, develop business plans, and implement projects created by the Turkana. Funding is going directly to the grantees to maximize community ownership. USADF has enlisted an African partner who will be on the ground to help grantees implement projects and provide technical assistance on a daily basis.

What is USADF?
The United States African Development Foundation (USADF) is an "Independent United States Government Agency" which provides grants and loans of up to $250,000 to community groups and small enterprises that benefit under-served and marginalized groups in Sub-Saharan Africa.  USADF has provided crucial financial support to Naasakle to build Naasakle's production and financial management capabilities.  For more information about USADF funding, please visit the agency's web site at .   

Who are the Turkana?
The Turkana are pastoralists and the harsh terrain requires that people constantly move their herds to find food and water. Because of the regional insecurity, many people are finding that they must let go of this traditional way of life and find new ways to sustain their livelihoods.

Why Turkana?
Turkana is arguably the most challenging region of Northern Kenya and the people of Turkana are some of the most marginalized people living in Kenya. A combination of climate and conflict makes the Turkana Region of Kenya a very difficult place to live, and results in high levels of malnutrition, poverty, and unrest. Nearly 75% of the population relies on food aid to survive. The region's remote location and poor infrastructure make the area inaccessible to most government and development efforts to improve the local economy and help people achieve a better way of life for themselves. Increasing drought has obliged pastoralists to travel further in their search for pasture and water. This often brings them into conflict with rival pastoralist communities.

USADF's commitment to working with the people of Turkana is potentially a turning point for the region. Community developed grants will empower the local population to sustainably invest in social and economic sectors, for the broad, sustainable benefit of the region.

The USADF model at work 
USADF will help take on the challenges in the region by working directly with the Turkana people to develop new approaches to small scale agriculture (irrigation), livestock management, and fishing. USADF's approach is to provide direct funding for development solutions that comes from the people closest to the problem. This creates greater sense of ownership in the process. 

USADF is also working with a local partner to provide technical and support services to ensure project success.