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Factors affecting Njaa Marufuku Kenya Programme in improving the livelihood of the poor and vulnerable: the case of Changamwe district, Kenya

In urban areas, around 3.5 million Kenyans were struggling to buy sufficient food from the market. Poor farmers, including women farmers often lack access to adequate resources (such as land, improved technology, credit, extension and advice and training) and to markets. The purpose of the NMK grant was to provide funds to build individual skills and social capital of community groups as well as to upscale innovative food security initiatives and also facilitate the development of revolving capital that can benefit not only the group members but also the entire community in general. The key purpose of the study was to assess the factors influencing the effectiveness of Njaa Marufuku programme in improving the livelihoods of the poor and vulnerable in Changamwe district. The researcher was interested in determining the access to income generating opportunities through provision of small grants in NMK funded projects; participation and involvement of the poor and vulnerable in planning and implementation of NMK projects; and the existing management and implementation mechanisms in NMK funded projects. This programme through provision of small grants to groups has contributed to reduction of poverty, hunger and food insecurity among poor communities in Kenya. The findings of the study are that the small grants provided to groups have assisted groups to start up income generating opportunities in agriculture, livestock and other value addition income generating activities that have increased their household income from the proceeds got from sale of their products hence improving their livelihoods. The findings also indicate that the grants were not enough to cater for the implementation and trainings. The It was clear that the poor and vulnerable were involved in planning and implementation of the projects but a small percentage of the members were aware of the existing management and implementing mechanisms. This study intended to examine the livelihood improvement of the poor and vulnerable communities who receive programme funds in Changamwe district. The choice of the study design used was descriptive study where qualitative and quantitative design was utilized based on the research questions addresses by the study. Data was collected using simply formulated questionnaires and interviewing methods with easily interpreted wordings to the target population (NMK funded group members and beneficiaries). The recommendations of this study were that the national secretariat should in future consider increasing the grant amount from 120,000/= to about 240,000/= to cater for the implementation of the project and trainings for the group members. It also recommends that the poor and vulnerable in the community should be allowed to participate and be involved in the decision making, planning and implementation of the NMK funded projects from inception. Accountability and transparency is important and will make the group members have confidence in each other. It is therefore recommended that all the group members and the executive should be trained and made aware of all the existing management and implementation mechanisms for smooth operations of their projects. This will in future reduce the incidences of mismanagement of the funds, especially by the management as all of them will be accountable.