Famine and drought have once again hit East Africa, leaving some ten million Africans, many nomadic, fighting for survival. In Kenya, rains that have failed for the past two years have left approximately 2.4 million Kenyans at risk of starvation. IAS began emergency intervention in Kenya on June 29 among the Kamba people of the nation’s Eastern province. The Kamba people have found themselves especially vulnerable as their region has already suffered recurrent food shortages for the past several years.
“Desparation…Waiting for what may never come. The baby here never survived. Her mother had nothing to offer…The baby cried throughout even as we tried to give her some milk. All I could do was offer a silent prayer for the little one.”
With support from a number of Swedish partner agencies, IAS is currently distributing food to approximately seven hundred households in the area which have been most affected. Target groups for assistance include households led by women, families headed by people with disabilities, and those afflicted by HIV and Aids.
Each family receives twenty-one kilos of corn, twelve kilos of beans, and 2.6 liters of cooking oil. Provisions are purchased in the country and transported to the impact areas. Including transportation and coordination, one food packet per household costs IAS approximately thirty dollars. With additional funding, IAS can reach even more families as the expense per family will decrease.
Somalia has been hit equally hard. The following report was recently received from the director of the IAS Kenya office, Douglas Mwiti, who was visiting camps in Mogadishu, Somalia. IAS staff are now working in Somalia as well, in an effort to help in this crisis.
“These are IDP houses: made of sticks and rugs. In one 2X3 house sleeps almost five people; protecting only their heads from the mosquitos at night. Contributed flour, used to make porridge is this IDP camp’s only one meal of the day.“
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Overcome Starvation in East Africa
Douglas writes, “I will send photos when I get back to Nairobi as the Internet here is not so good. However, after what the people have gone through for the last couple of months it is difficult to find a smiling face.
Most of them have walked over five hundred kilometers (310 miles) to get to Mogadishu; they have lost their loved ones on the way. I talked to one lady who told me that she started her journey from Dinsor with five children and she arrived in Mogadishu with only one child. The other four died on the way. Looking at the one with her here in Mogadishu made my eyes swell with tears as chances of her survival are very little.
They can’t even afford some water. Imagine getting some water to pour on the children to keep them alive for a few more days. Some of them are even using the water when they get it as a substitute for milk for their children…nothing at all to feed on…”
Your assistance right now can help IAS purchase food and water for those in desperate need in both Somalia and Kenya. There is also a great need to provide school age children with food in order to encourage them to go back to school. Latrines and enhanced hygiene methods and systems are also in great need within the IDP (Internally Displaced Person) camps.
However you can assist; join with IAS in helping almost ten million in dire need avoid starvation in East Africa.
In gratitude for your partnership,
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