AN EMERGENCY aid project set up by a disabled people's charity in Newport has delivered its first supplies to a remote Kenyan region.

ResponsABLE Assistance, led by disability campaigner Trevor Palmer, is organising motorbike deliveries of PPE, soap, and basic provisions to rural communities in Kibwezi which are cut off during the coronavirus pandemic.

Covid-19 has so far claimed the lives of 184 people in Kenya, with the country recording nearly 10,000 confirmed cases of the virus.


President Uhuru Kenyatta last week lifted restrictions on travel movements to certain regions, including the capital, Nairobi; but extended a dusk-to-dawn curfew for a further 30 days.

Mr Palmer said that curfew, brought in on March 25, had made it difficult for rural communities in Kibwezi – already isolated by their geography – to receive essential supplies.

The past few weeks had been "very demanding" as ReponsABLE Assistance and their local partners in Kenya navigated the accompanying red tape, Mr Palmer added.

South Wales Argus:

Trevor Palmer

"It's been co-ordinated brilliantly by Dr Cecilia [Nyaga, of the Kibwezi Disabled Peoples Organisation]," he said. "It's the whole ethos of ResponsABLE Assistance to work with local partners... and I feel very fortunate we've got partnerships over there able to complete such a mission."

The project received funding from the Welsh Government's Wales for Africa grant scheme, and Mr Palmer hopes the Covid-19 emergency scheme will pave the way for a long-lasting partnership, and friendship, with the Kibwezi region.

ResponsABLE Assistance had already forged ties with Dr Nyaga for the Fursa scheme, through which disabled people in Kibwezi received support and training to set up their own business enterprises.

While that project has been put on hold due to the pandemic, it is already proving a worthwhile venture – the traders supported by Fursa are producing the masks and soap to be distributed throughout the region.

"It's proved its worth, and I'm so touched by it personally – I couldn't be happier in the circumstances," Mr Palmer said.

"It just goes to prove the ability of disabled people if they are given the opportunities to fit in, and it gives [disabled people in Kibwezi] a great deal of credibility in their local communities as well."