Drought in Northern Kenya: Millions are facing starvation in Illeret

Drought in Northern Kenya: Millions are facing starvation in Illeret


Marsabit County, Kenya Millions are facing starvation Growing hunger is being caused by months of drought leaving children among the most badly affected In Marsabit County, more than half of the children are undernourished. Malteser International is the only non-governmental organization with an office in Illeret. Long’ura, Beneficiary “Our life and economy are dependence on animals. The drought killed almost all our animals, so we have been searching for water far away and selling it. If we do not sell any, we sleep hungry and the children are unhealthy.” James Ayolo, Malteser International staff member “In Illeret, in more recent month, we had the highest percentage of severe malnutrition at 51%. They were malnourished because they lacked food. Even the old grandmothers and grandfathers few died because they lacked food.” Saani Arkoi, Beneficiary “We were facing problems but Malteser helped us with food vouchers. We use the vouchers to get food from the shops. The food is not enough because children are many and the old had to be fed.” Hassan Kuso, Trader “Each voucher is worth 500 Kenya Shillings. If someone has three vouchers, they can buy food worth 1.500 Kenya Shillings. They the freedom to use all the vouchers or can choose to use one voucher today and then after two or three weeks use the rest. As businessmen our biggest challenge is transporting food from market up to here because of the road. We don’t have a road! From Nakuru Town up to here, a lorry takes up to 5 days.” Plumpynuts is a supplement for several malnourished children, that has all the nutrient requirement that a child needs. Malteser took the initiative and gave a buffer stock to the health facilities and is also monitoring the outreaches. We go out and distribute the Plumpynuts and we also try to see the difference. “The community here depends on goats, cows and other livestock. There is no area reserved by the government where these animals can graze during the dry seasons and then come back here when it is raining. Malteser International is supporting various programs in Illeret and one of them is a Livestock program. Under the livestock program we have we been having a program of destocking. Destocking is a process of reducing the number of livestock, that is in the area. Instead of loosing all the livestock that they had, they could bring them for slaughtering and remain with a number that they can handle instead of handling with a lot of livestock, that does not have water and pasture. In exchange, the people that bring goats are given food vouchers. They exchange the food vouchers with food from the vendors. The meat is distributed to families affected by the drought. When the children get some food, their development is improved and they are able to go to school, giving them a chance to have a better future.

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