Laisamis, Loiyangalani, Marsabit and Samburu Districts of Northern Kenya
BOMA works in Northern Kenya, primarily in the Laisamis, Loiyangalani, Marsabit and Samburu districts — an area larger than the country of Ireland, and the traditional homeland of the pastoral nomads. It is an arid and semi-arid land (ASAL) that suffers from the highest poverty rates in the country. Infrastructure is minimal, with few paved roads and no formal banks or post offices; for many, the distance to the nearest health center is as much as 80 kilometers. There are no large employers, and residents lack the education and skills required to secure jobs in other parts of the country. For those who do find work, the average income is less than one dollar per day.
Although livestock remains the traditional source of food and income, it is increasingly unsustainable as the severity of droughts escalates due to climate change; during the extended drought of 2008-2009, for example, 90 percent of the region’s livestock died. In 2011, the worst drought in 60 years impacted 12.5 million people across the Horn of Africa and left an estimated 50,000 to 100,000 people dead. Armed violence is increasing across the district as ethnic tribes clash over limited natural resources.