Kenya: Fit for First Aid

Ambulances are unfortunately not available in all parts of Kenya.

Berlin / Nairobi, 11 February 2021

Kenya is facing an increasing number of natural disasters. First responders play an important role afterwards. They are the first on the spot and provide necessary aid. To enable them to respond better and stronger to disasters in the future, we have started a new project together with three regional partners.

How do I help injured people after accidents? Am I doing something wrong? Am I allowed to help at all? Everyone knows these difficult questions. Regular first aid courses can help to answer them. In Kenya, however, many aid organisations and first responders face major challenges. Throughout the country, there are no formal training facilities for firefighters, for example. Refresher courses for disaster relief actors are limited. As a result, inadequate equipment and lack of knowledge among first responders lead to avoidable deaths, for example in road accidents.

Limited financial resources for rescue measures

Helping quickly in the field is a challenge for many organisations due to a lack of resources.

Organisations in emergency services do not have enough qualified personnel to respond quickly to disasters. There is also a lack of ambulances and fire trucks equipped with life-saving equipment, medicines and qualified staff to accompany them, because there are no financial resources for this. Although the Kenyan constitution requires counties to allocate two percent of their budgets to disaster relief, these are often reallorcated for other purposes. Smaller local organisations hardly get access to coordination mechanisms and government forums. This makes it difficult to respond quickly.

Project strengthens local organisations and first responders

First aid training from St. John in Kenya.

Our newly launched project is directed at our three partner organisations Rural Agency for Community Development and Assistance (RACIDA), St. John Ambulance and Merti Integrated Development Programme (MID-P). They are all active in different counties in Kenya. The aim is to increase effectiveness and efficiency in responding to small and medium-scale disasters by 2023. Our sister organisation St John, in particular, plays an important role in Kenya for years in training new first responders to improve first aid services in the area. Within the organisations, their fundraising capacities are being strengthened. In addition, the technical capacities of the organisations will be improved by identifying the most urgent needs and then training the staff. In this way, the response time in the event of a disaster can be shortened. Basic knowledge is imparted in communities and self-confidence is built up so that they do not hesitate to help in an emergency.

"We have already worked with our partners in emergency relief in the past and want to expand our involvement to promote their networking with government mechanisms," says Magdalena Kilwing, Head of Humanitarian Response at International Assistance. Because: "Local aid workers are always the first on the ground who can save lives."

The project is financially supported by the Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ)


International Assistance in Kenya

In Kenya, we support nomadic communities in adapting to climate change and help those affected by natural disasters to secure their basic needs.

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