Adopt a Village Project (AVP)

Wajir County, Kenya – Facts and Figures

  • Population: 661,941 people
  • Among the most underdeveloped regions in northern Kenya
  • Inhabitants concentrated in four villages (Bulla Elmi, Bulla Abdiaziz 1, Bulla Abdiaziz 2, and Bulla Hareri) are ethnic Somalis.
  • Main economic activity: Pastoralism and some agro-pastoralism. Over 70% of the population derive their livelihood chiefly from livestock and livestock production.
  • Traditional siloed development dividends do not accrue due to historical factors including weak governance and climate change.
  • Very young, with very high female fertility and infant and under-five mortality rates (52% of population under 14 years old, household size = 7).
  • Wajir is a water-deficient county with no perennial rivers. Only 7% of residents use improved sanitation.
  • Average walking distance from household to water point increased from 9km in June 2019 to 10km in the October 2019 due to depletion of water pans attributed to reduced rainfall.
  • Average water consumption per person per day significantly reduced from a normal of 15-20 liters to 5-8 litres.

Project Objective

To improve access to basic social, health, WASH, and educational services, as well as safe houses; expand economic opportunities, and enhance environmental management for communities in Wajir County. 


The Adopt-a-Village Project (AVP) implements a holistic approach toward the overall livelihood improvement in Wajir County through synchronous development efforts in health, water & sanitation, education, housing, energy and environmental management, and community participation. AVP covers four villages in Wajir County: Bulla Elmi, Bulla Abdiaziz 1, Bulla Abdiaziz 2 and Bulla Hareri; and one school shared among the villages (Elmi Primary School). 

Immediate improvements in holistic livelihood conditions will enable the community to regain self-reliance, improve their standard of living and continue to maintain such standard with locally-driven community efforts once the project is completed.

AVP is an effort to develop village-level capacity toward meeting the SDGs, as part of an integrated community-level development strategy to end extreme rural poverty. This strategy is in line with the recommendations of various U.N. sectoral monitoring commissions to eliminate inequalities (especially the urban-rural gaps) in service delivery, and to “leave no one behind”. As such, we aim to bring together the best parts of development thinking in terms of local knowledge and commitment to sustainability in order to apply a new approach to poverty alleviation.

Sector Activity
Education Rehabilitate local school shared by four villages
WASH Build Boreholes in villages
Housing/Shelter Construct mud houses
Primary Health Care Build medical centers in schools
Environment and Energy Build eco-friendly solar systems for lighting

Build eco-san toilets in villages.

Community Committee Community Engagement through the establishment of community committees

UMR’s First Steps in AVP

Cataract Surgeries

Between the 25th – 27th of February 2020, an ophthalmologist from UMR led an eye team that screened 300 patients. Out of the tested patients, 134 qualified for and received free cataract surgeries (77 female & 57 male). The remaining patients received the necessary medication to treat their eye conditions.

Another 300 patients were treated as outpatient cases and provided with eye medication, reading glasses, protective sunglasses, and health education. The 103 who were unable to receive surgery due to the limited time frame and resources were provided with interim treatment like eye drops, ointment, and eyeglasses, and were placed at the top of the registration list for the next eye clinic.

Water Well

UMR  also built two shallow wells in two villages, Maygag and Star Wario. The shallow wells serve 300 households, ensure clean water, improve essential health, increase hygiene levels, and ultimately will develop alternative livelihood opportunities. The water wells will regenerate the arid lands of their environment, so they can produce alternative sources of food security and income that would result from an overall better health outcome.

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