A community assessment excecuted in nov-dec 2016 in order to discover the needs of the Pokot community in Barpello sub-location.
This needs assessment has been written on advice of the East Pokot Medical Project (EPMP). It has been conducted by us: four students from the Delft University of Technology participating in the minor International Entrepreneurship & Development. Within this minor, we are interns of the EPMP for three months. We are working on the Pokot Water Project which is part of the Pokot Resource Centre project.
6. List of references
This needs assessment has been conducted in November 2016 by four TU Delft Students
participating in the Minor International Entrepreneurship & Development on advice of the
East Pokot Medical Project (EPMP) in order to discuss the content of the Pokot Resource
Centre; to be built in 2017 by the EPMP in Barpello. The results of this needs assessment can
also be used by future stakeholders who want to contribute to the East Pokot Community.
The goal of this needs assessment was to identify the assets of the East-Pokot community
(Barpello sub-location) and determine (potential) concerns and challenges that it faces. This
was done by reviewing existing data from Save the Children (2010), Team Pokot (2012) and
Acted et al. (2014) and by gaining new information through Focus Group Discussions (FGD),
key informant interviews, informal interviews and observations. This needs assessment
focused on the following topics: food & livestock, health, water & sanitation, education, safety
& security, shelter and culture & religion.
This assessment addresses the needs of the East Pokot community living in Barpello sub-
location; which is part of Barpello location, that belongs to Baringo County. Barpello sub-
location consists of 19 villages with each 17-24 households. Barpello sub-location is inhabited
by the Pokot people, a tribe related to the Kalenjin ethnic group who are originally pastoralists.
Groups of women, men, youth and children participated in the FGD’s. Key informant
interviews were done with locals with knowledge about: health issues, education, culture,
The most prioritised needs of the community are the needs of food, (clean) water, healthcare
Food is scare in Barpello sub-location because there is almost no agriculture and almost no
economy. Agriculture is a challange because of the lack of water and knowledge and the fact
that Pokot are originally pastoralists; they do not want to settle down. Pokot trade their cattle
for food from other tribes -like the marakwet- on the market in Kolowa. But the amount and
quality of the cattle decreased over the past years. There is almost no economy in Barpello
sub-location because of lack of start-up capital, lack of knowledge and business mentality.
Also, Barpello sub-location is very isolated and has not so much to offer on the market yet.
Water is scarce in Barpello sub-location because of the unpredictional and little rainfall
However, water is the source of everything. Without water people are unable to keep their
cattle and themselves healthy and alive. For the Pokot, their cattle is their main source of
income. Because there is so little water, there is almost no agriculture in the area wich leads to
food insecurity. People are unable to maintain their houses because the natural materials they
use are disappearing. Women are unable to develop their lives because -on a daily basis- their
main task is to fetch water. Children refuse to go to school, because the schools cannot always
The Pokot community has to deal with a burden of diseases. Water-borne diseases, respiratory
tract infections, malaria, phytosis, brucellosis, STD’s (a.o. HIV-AIDS), urinal tract infections,
trachoma and complications during birth are frequent health issues. Also FGM is still practised
in a lot of villages. Barpello sub-location has only 1 medical facility: Barpello medical dispensary.
People have to walk far to reach the dispensary and often the dispensary cannot offer the
services the community needs especially when it comes to pregnancies. A lot of patients need
to be referred which often creates problems for their health. The dispensary has to deal with a
shortage of medical staff and limited resources. Pokot do not always seek medical help in time,
which makes treatment even more difficult. The EPMP creates awareness about health issues
by giving health talks, but people still need a lot more education about prevention of diseases
and the effects of harmfull practises like FGM.
When education became available, the commuity started to develop. Nowadays a lot of
children attend school. However, for parents it is very hard to pay the school fees. It is not
uncommen that children only attend primary school. Another problem is students who drop-
out because of early pregnancies, long walking distances and lack of water and/or food at
the schools. Not all children get the support from their parents when it comes to education,
especially girls are struggling to get permission to attend school.
For each priority need, a recommendation can be given about how to meet this need:
To improve the situation of food scarcity, the economy should be stimulated so that
people have money to buy food. Also, agriculture could make an entrance when water
becomes more available. Together with NGO’s specialized in farming, each household
can start to build a pan dam and use the water for irrigating a small shamba. To improve
the health of the cattle, vaccination programs should be improved and more water
sources –targeted at the cattle- should be built.
To improve the situation of (clean) water scarcity, people should be educated about
cleaning water. They should also be educated about the proper use of community
water sources, transporting water in an efficient way, building a private water source
etc. Facilities should be provided with a reliable water source so that they do not run
out of water and have to stop their activities. More community water sources should
be built so that people do not have to walk long distances and the water accessibility
becomes more reliable.
To improve the burden of diseases and complications, better facilities with better
equipment should be provided, especially for pregnant women. Also, people need
education about prevention and the importance of treatment of STD’s, the harmful
consequences of FGM, prevention of diseases caused by bad hygiene, prevention of
water-borne diseases etc.
To decrease the amount of drop-outs, food and water should be provided at all times.
Also, students should be educated about the consequences of early pregnancies. When
public transport or a school bus becomes available, children that live far away will be
able to attend school. Parents should be educated about the importance of education.
More funds should become available to allow children to continue their education after
primary school. Also, if the economy would grow, parents would be able to pay the
school fees and more children will go to schoo