Kenya (MNN) — Though it's considered the breadbasket of Kenya, people in the west, in the Mt. Elgon area, are going hungry. Tribal conflicts over land distribution have forced more than 8,000 families to leave the area.
"This has resulted in a climate of fear," says Ken Little of Christian Reformed World Relief Committee. Some tribes have set up a "land defense force" in order to attack members of the other group.
"In some cases they've planted crops that they can't harvest. In other cases they just can't get to the land in order to produce food for themselves," says Little.
In response to an appeal from the Reformed Church of East Africa, CRWRC has designed a program to provide food rations to approximately 4,000 families, or 24,000 people total. The
maize and beans they are providing will be distributed to families over the next four months.
The funding for the initiative has come from the Canadian Food Grains Bank and the Canadian Government.
Without this help, many who have not found jobs yet would have very few options to feed their families. Some young women may be forced to resort to prostitution.
CRWRC first located the areas with the most displaced families and, therefore, the most vulnerable areas. "And that, I think, is really quite a witness. Some other agencies have distributed food. and basically they just come into the area and dump it off a
truck. Those who are strongest get it rather than those who are most vulnerable. So I think we're making a statement."
Their practical help is a way of sharing Christ with those in need. "In this context, I don't think there would be any problem with sharing the verbal Good News of Jesus, but our
focus is just to assist those that are needing the love of Christ at this time," Little said.
"There are signs that some of the conflict issues will be resolved, and we're hoping that we'll help them out in the meantime," said Little.