The World Food Program has declared
the current drought and famine in Kenya
the worst since 2000, as the government of Kenya officially declared the
current famine as a national disaster.
Crops have failed and farmers are
struggling to keep their cattle alive. The possibility of short rain spells
from October to December is the last hope for a nation heading toward disaster.
With other countries in East Africa facing food shortages because of the drought,
massive food distribution is essential. Other parts of East
Africa are also facing food shortages due to drought.
Countries throughout the Horn of
Africa have suffered from drought for many years. As recently as 2005 drought
destroyed crops and pasture, and without drinking water or food thousands of
livestock died, leaving people without food and with nothing to sell.
In Kenya alone 3.5 million people are
affected by the drought and many depend on food aid for survival. Nomadic
pastoral communities make up about 50% of the population and these people have
been worst hit as they rely on their livestock for survival. The continuing
crisis is threatening the way of life of masses of people as many head to urban
areas hoping to find food and water.
Even if the rain falls abundantly Kenya's
problems will not be over as heavy rains have already caused widespread
flooding, sweeping away surviving crops and livestock. The rains have also
prevented emergency vehicles reaching the needy. Flood waters also carry water
borne diseases, spelling further disaster for both humans and animals. Pulled
between hoping for steady rain to provide future harvests, people are also
dreading the rain because of flooding and the spread of disease.
Islamic Relief is providing emergency
supplies of food, water and health care facilities to people in Kenya, Ethiopia
hoping to prevent death among those most vulnerable like children, expectant
and nursing mothers and the elderly. Islamic Relief has also established water
treatment stations to purify water and ensure safe drinking water. It has also
set up sanitation services and health care to assist in the prevention and
treatment of infectious diseases. At the same time, Islamic Relief seeks to
work with communities to initiate sustainable development programs to reduce
people's vulnerability to disasters.
As the drought wreaks havoc across Kenya,
sixty-five secondary schools in the North East are closing down because of the
famine. Students numbering up to 17,000 are being forced home due to acute food
and water shortages. As the prices of food and fuel soars it is unsure when the
situation will return to normal.
Many Kenyans are still living in squalid conditions after the
post-election violence in 2008 that forced many into refugee camps. Many people
are required to share little space with not only their family members, but even
total strangers. Lack of privacy along with rampant alcoholism culminates in
children being exposed to the drunken behavior of both men and women and many
forms of decadence.
With the government reducing food rations, more
and more parents are being forced to send their children to live with relatives
or to orphanages. Children's chances of receiving adequate nutrition, medical
care and education are higher outside the camps and parents hope their children
will become better persons if they are not exposed to the decadence of the
camps. Now that schools have closed children must spend all their time in their
overcrowded polythene homes.
Help Islamic Relief help the needy in Kenya and many
other places around the world. Click here: http://www.islamic-relief.com/