Since inception, LTWP has been dedicated to ensuring that the local communities benefit from the Project. As part of this commitment, LTWP established Winds of Change (WoC), through which LTWP undertake sustainable community development projects throughout the Project’s Area of Influence (Laisamis Constituency). WoC is registered in Kenya as an NGO and has been operational since June 2015.
The primary focus of WoC is to enhance access to education, health and water, as well as support miscellaneous community development activities.
Improving access to education is an important pillar of WoC. Subsequently, WoC has implemented various education-related projects, including:
- Constructing school facilities, for example classrooms, dormitories, ablution blocks, teachers accommodation and laboratories in Farakoren PrimarySchool, Kurkum Primary School, Gatab Primary School, Arapal Primary School,Korolle Boys Secondary School, Korr IT Center, Nyiro Girls Secondary School, Loiyangalani Polytechnic Institute, Nyiro Boys Secondary School, Kulal Girls Secondary School, Kurungu Primary School, Sarima Primary School, Loiyangalani Vocational Training Centre; and, dining halls/kitchens in Namarei);
- Installing solar and water systems at schools in Luai and Arge;
- Donating desks, chairs, books and pens, and other much-needed items to meet the basic needs of schools throughout Laisamis Constituency; and,
- Facilitating educational trips to the wind farm and other parts of Kenya.
Local communities have limited access to healthcare facilities. Consequently, WoC aims to improve access to healthcare by upgrading facilities and partnering with stakeholders to provide targeted outreach programmes as well as build capacity of medical practitioners. Examples of healthcare-related initiatives by WoC include:
- Establishing a dispensary in Sarima;
- Upgrading healthcare facilities in Laisamis, Lontolio, Illaut and Burri Aramia by installing solar systems, creating access to water systems, constructing auxiliary facilities and providing equipment; and,
- In partnership with Mission to Heal, carrying out health outreach programmes throughout Laisamis Constituency.
Water is a scarce commodity throughout Marsabit County. For this reason, WoC also focuses on community projects that enhance access to water. As such, WoC has completed water projects such as:
- Drilling and solar-equipping boreholes in Sarima, Ntil, Illaut, Merille, Namarei, Balah, Laga El Fereji, Ngurunit and Moite. For most boreholes, WoC also establishes associated infrastructure such as livestock troughs and water storage tanks;
- Installing a solar-powered Reverse Osmosis system in Sarima, which desalinates water so that it is clean for drinking by the community;
- Constructing/rehabilitating water pipelines and water storage tanks at Gatab Junction and in Arge, Larachi, Luai, Laga El Fereji, Laisamis, Loiyangalani and Lonjorin; and,
- As an emergency relief programme, delivering water to numerous communities during the 2015, 2017, 2019 and 2022 droughts.
WoC also implements miscellaneous community projects, which do not necessarily fall under the education, health or water categories. These projects are subsequently categorised as ‘community’ projects and include
- Providing food provision during the 2017, 2019 and 2022 droughts. The most recent example is the Emergency Food Relief Programme, which provided food to 13,000 primary school pupils per day throughout Laisamis Constituency during the entire third term of the 2021/2022 academic year;
- Constructing community storage facilities in Illaut and Sarima;
- Constructing housing facilities and offices for the police force in Loiyangalani;
- Enhancing inter-community relations through sports, for example through the 10km community wind farm races that took place in 2016 and 2017 and by supporting youth sports tournaments throughout Laisamis Constituency; and,
- Organising and supporting peace initiates during which inter-community conflicts and tensions are discussed and defused.