Meet Wario Adi Galma, a pastoralist living in Elleborr village, nestled within the vast and arid Marsabit County, where the drought has left its indelible mark on the communities. This is where the arid lands and dwindling livestock numbers tell a poignant tale of adversity.

Wario, a husband and father of six children, was once the proud owner of 58 cows and 85 shoats, a lifeline for his family’s sustenance. Days before the drought cast a dark shadow on his fortunes, Wario would occasionally sell a cow or two, or a handful of his shoats, to secure his family’s basic needs. Their sale also meant that his children’s school fees would be paid. But the devastating drought took a toll on him, leaving him with a mere five shoats and no source of income.

“I didn’t know how to navigate this bleak landscape after losing my sole source of livelihood,” laments Wario. “I resorted to working as a laborer, an odd job in our parched terrain. We could only afford one meal daily, and sometimes even that was a luxury,” he adds.

His hope was restored when Strategies for Northern Development (SND) gave the community a lifeline through multi-purpose cash assistance funded by the European Union (EU). Wario’s heart soared as he learned that this financial support would enable him to cater to his family’s basic needs. “Our spirits were rekindled,” he exclaims.

Understanding that this support would only last for three months, from the EUR 57 he received monthly, Wario resolved to save part of the money he received to buy farm inputs and embark on a journey to cultivate nutrient-rich kales for home use and sell to the community. He believed that if all went well, the farming venture could forge a sustainable livelihood for his family’s future.

With the end of the cash assistance program, Wario proudly notes that the Kales have provided nourishing meals and also generated income for his family. He acknowledges that kale alone cannot sustain them in the long run and dreams of expanding his agricultural endeavors to include tomatoes and other vegetables. However, this ambition hinges on securing additional capital.

This transformative multi-purpose cash assistance program, generously funded by the European Union and implemented by SND in collaboration with Acted and other partners of the Kenya Cash Consortium (KCC), has disbursed over EUR 70,000 in three months to support 452 households in Marsabit County.