Reforming Relief Distribution in Kongelai, West Pokot

Residents of Kongelai location in West Pokot had for many years silently suffered as a result of ineffective and unclear food aid distribution systems. Kongelai being a semi-arid region is regularly faced with food shortages and water scarcity that exposes most of the community members to drought and famine.

This condition led to the distribution of relief food by the Government through the local authorities and chief. This system was however not effective as the community members felt that the distribution was marred with bias and claims of embezzlement by the office of the chief.

With the implementation of the social accountability project through TI-Kenya, community members selected ten social auditors that were trained to participate and monitor service provision by various stakeholders and to hold service providers accountable.

In one of the public forums conducted in April 2015, the community members tasked the social auditors to seek answers on relief distribution on their behalf. Following several consultative meetings, a public hearing was convened to allow both sides to present their case.

The hearing led to the introduction of a new system of relief food distribution that is more inclusive and factors the entire location in the distribution. The chief was compelled to always receive the relief food in the presence of at least three social auditors. Distribution of food aid is now more transparent, accountable and inclusive.

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