Community forum for the preparation of an action plan for food safety
KAS together with county government of West Pokot, department of intergovernmental coordination, peace Building and disaster management conducted a three day community forum to create community awareness on the draft Disaster Risk Management (DRM) Policy. The community forums were held between the 23rd and 25th of February 2017 at Chesra, Miskwony, Takaywa, Lomut, Nakwijit and Napitiro Centres.
Local facilitators both from government institutions and the non-state actors engaged the local and indigenous communities on the components of the draft policy while eliciting discussions based on the process and outcome based approaches of ensuring that the policy was adequate enough to address their concerns in respect to integrating disaster risk reduction (DRR) initiatives. Regarding the process based approach, the local facilitators were guided to revisit the administrative and coordination structures and lead community participants on discussions that would add local voices in the coordination and management of the DRR initiatives. The various community participants discussed on the structure and their volunteership role in helping to integrate and address the implementation of DRR related projects.
One important point that was captured from the community discussions was that it wasn’t necessary to pursue the option of having structures such as the sub county and ward disaster management offices as this would not be effective enough to ensure proactive preparedness and response to disasters. Instead, the communities agreed that the sub county and ward administration offices could be provided with assistants who would be able to monitor, train and have committee meetings with volunteers to help in the implementation of the respective action plans that are derived from the policy framework. The role of the disaster management unit and the entire coordination structure as contained in the draft policy was deemed key in coordinating preparedness and response as well as in resilience building; following up on budget allocation to the respective sectoral institutions.
On the other hand, through an outcome approach, the communities discussed on the various challenges they are faced with, based on the prevailing contexts. The same issues were later on filtered for consideration and inclusion into the policy draft and in particular within the implementation strategy component. The outcome based approach provided room for communities to make their contribution on what development assistance they needed not only to help manage disasters but also prevent crises in the long run. Importantly to note is that an Issue Status Brief(ISB) by KAS analyzing the different options and general policy trajectory was also used by the facilitators and the partner to gain more perspectives that could greatly improve the quality and implementation of the policy upon its adoption. The next step will be to integrate these voices into an improved draft and thereafter the same will be shared with the members of the county assembly before subsequent introduction of the budget estimates for 2017/18 into the county assembly.
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