Rainy season not enough to bring relief in Kenya

By September 22, 2011

Kenya (MNN) — Rainy season is coming in the Horn of

This year's forecast is a mixed bag of news. The good news: expect above-average rains in drought-stricken

The bad news: this might not be such good news for displaced
people, a vulnerable population crammed into refugee camps with poor sanitation. A heavy rainy season could spread
disease and cause a spike in death rates in these areas.  

Currently, the Drought of 2011 is thought to be the worst
one in 60 years. The complete failure of
the last two rainy seasons has meant food shortages in Kenya and famine in
neighboring Somalia.

There's another issue that makes this disaster stand out. Generosity marks it in a way no other has. An
SMS text fundraiser brought in 500 million Kenyan Shillings in a week to
help address what they thought was the hunger problem. 

What the event did was shed light on the scope of the crisis
within Kenya's borders. Silas Kakui with Kids Alive
explains, "The Southern part of northern
Kenya–not a lot of attention was being given to these people because a lot of
attention was going to the far north. We realized that a lot of people were
going hungry or would go for a day or two day without food. So, we partnered
with these churches. "

Local church pastors were already networked and aware of the
neediest families. That made for fast
action with the right resources. "Kids
Alive International sent money, and we bought a lot of food and were able to take the food to these

The hope they brought with them moistened parched throats
and brought an eager desire for more. Kakui says, "In one day, we
were able to distribute food to over 100 families in a lot of need. Because
Kids Alive is a Christian organization, we always want to make sure that when
we do something, people understand that we're doing it because of the love of

The team continued to take supplies to the far flung
villages where the pastoralists were withering. "Within a certain village, [when our team was] giving the food and speaking about the
Lord Jesus Christ, 21 people gave their lives to the Lord Jesus Christ."

With tens of thousands on the brink of starvation, Kakui
says there's more to do than they can handle themselves. "The immediate
need would really be to distribute more food. I'm not sure that food would last
for more than a week. I can only just
imagine: after one week, I'm not sure what would happen to these people."

What would help? "If
it were possible to get funding to be able to buy foods that can maybe [sustain] a family for a
month. This is a part of Kenya that has not had rain since2008." The situation is most dire in these areas
because "the fact that there are no rains means that these people have no
food; it means they have no water; it means their animals have died. "

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