Location and general information
Remba Island is situated in Lake Victoria Homa Bay County on the north-south border between Kenya and Uganda. It is a small, densely populated island and home to some 20,000 people whose economy is entirely dependent on fishing. It is also home to people from all over Africa, the majority being Abasubas, Luos and the Somalis of Kenya; there are also fishermen and traders from Southern Sudan, DR Congo, Tanzania, Uganda and other African countries. Crime is inevitably high, including rape, theft, prostitution and drugs.
Sanitation and health are very poor. Huge mounds of garbage spread disease and pollute waters along the shore, water that is used for bathing, cooking and hygiene. There are only four public latrines on the island, two of which at the local primary school are kept locked by their owners. The latrines are shallow holes that leak into the nearby lake, and the smell from them is overwhelming. Many residents resort to defecating in the open. In rainy periods, the human waste is washed into the surrounding lake.
Prostitution and sex-for-fish is rife among the female population, and inevitably multiple sexually transmitted diseases are widespread on the island. Most of the children on the island suffer from malnutrition. There is no light or fencing at the school, and in the evening, there is pitch black darkness. Our project partners, EPGE DREAM Kenya discovered that children were sexually abused and raped but managed to stop it and have the perpetrators arrested.
DREAM subsequently asked us to partner with them on this project. The children – girls and boys – are football fanatics but have nowhere to play and no kit. The ground is rocky and covered in rubbish. The island authorities and residents have told us the football pitch will not only benefit the children, but also teenagers, who after a long day of fishing can let off steam by playing football instead of drinking and fighting.
The programme will provide basic infrastructure to support women and children on the island – economically, nutritionally and educationally. The intention is to reduce prostitution, rape, sexually transmitted diseases and malnutrition, while improving children’s school attendance and women’s literacy and business skills.
The local and county authorities have already provided the land for the poultry farm, kitchen garden and football pitch.
- Promote sustainable livelihoods for the participating women
- Improve literacy, business and life skills among the participating women
- Provide food security and better nutrition for the women and their families
- Improve school attendance and the graduation rate for the children
This will be achieved by:
- setting up a poultry-raising programme and kitchen garden for a select group of women, providing them with jobs, food, education, training and mentoring It will also generate revenue to further develop their community;
- establishing a football pitch and island team with uniforms, whose players will be selected on the basis of academic performance and school attendance;
- providing electricity for the school in return for a literacy and business training programme for the women;
- security lighting at strategic points on the Island to reduce crime, in particular rape.
The project will be monitored for a period of three years before the assets are transferred to the island women’s group.
- A new poultry farm will be set up as well as a chicken garden
- Build a new football pitch and create teams
- Install electricity and security (fences) at the school
- Increased food security for the women - Women and their families have at least one nutritious meal per day
- Improved school attendance and performance of children - Improved school attendance and performance of children