Water shortage in rural Kenya spurs violence and disease

By May 23, 2016
(Photo courtesy of Aqua Mechanical via Flickr)

(Photo courtesy of Aqua Mechanical via Flickr)

Kenya (MNN) – According to TheWaterProject.com, Kenya is one of the most struggling countries in the world.

Lack of clean drinking water—and the diseases it incurs—is one of the biggest reasons why. Cholera is a water-borne disease that causes profuse diarrhea and dehydration, which can quickly lead to death. It is most common in developing countries characterized by poverty and poor sanitation. According to UNICEF, since the disease broke out in Kenya at the end of 2014, 15,103 cases of the illness and 238 deaths have been recorded.

A ministry supported by Christian Aid Mission in the Marsabit county of Kenya says the lack of clean water, as well as the lack of grazing land for cattle, are causing serious issues in the region.

“Several children have passed away from this cholera outbreak,” Christian Aid Mission’s Amie Cotton says. “In this part of Kenya, there are two tribes…and they’re fighting with each other for the grazing areas, and the hot weather in the area right now has caused a lot of the wells to dry. And so the livestock are dehydrating and dying.

“These tribes are warring with each other, fighting for land. They’re fighting because it’s so hot, there’s no water, and so they’re looking for the water and fighting for areas that have water. And so this brother was asking for prayer for children and families that are suffering from this Cholera outbreak, and also these tribes that are fighting.”

But this isn’t swaying the faith of Kenyan believers. Even amidst the chaos and struggles, Cotton says people are firmly believing God will provide.

“God has been faithful to them, and they have such a strong faith, and it is so encouraging and humbling as a believer to see their faith and see how they rely on the Lord day by day for their food, for their livelihood, for their safety,” Cotton says.

Cotton says struggles like these prove just how good we have it in other parts of the world, and should tell us not to take anything granted.

“In this part of Africa, just having food to eat is getting them through their day,” Cotton says. “So much of their day is just finding food and getting clean water. That’s something as Americans we so often take for granted. I never have to search for clean water, I turn my faucet on. I always have plenty of food in my fridge. I am so blessed.”

Can you keep people in Kenya—who struggle every day to just survive—in your prayers? Pray that their physical needs would be met and that God would continue to give them hope.

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