Continuing drought and water scarcity

by Katja Weber,  2012/02/16

humedica has been active in Kenya for six months now. Various projects, which are run all over the country, are intended to support those affected by the drought of the century. What does the interim balance look like after this period of time?

Among other things it is also thanks to the distribution of 23.5 tons of high-calorie food by humedica that the people in Turkana no longer suffer from undernutrition. Photo: humedica/Katja Weber

On the one hand, the situation here has not really improved. There are still about 3.75 million people in the country who are affected by the drought and do not have enough to eat. The people continue to flee from the drought, from Somalia to Kenya, and from Kenya to Ethiopia, where the situation is not much better. Sometimes it rained, but these rainfalls did not provide enough water. The crops are still withering in the fields, even before they can ripen completely.

On the other hand, there is Florence from Mwingi, East Kenya. She is HIV positive. Thanks to the continuing food donations by humedica she has had enough to eat every day, and has even gained weight. And the most important consequence: strengthened by the food, she has been able to take her life-saving drugs on a daily basis. During the last wet season in December, she planted some vegetables, which will now help her over the next few weeks.

And then there are the twins Ruth and Kenedy in Kibera, the largest slum of Africa in the middle of Nairobi. They were fed with infant milk for several months – the milk had been donated to humedica by a German company. By then, the famine had even reached Nairobi. Due to the meagre harvest, food prices have soared so high that now people have even more problems to afford their daily meals than they had before.

We also received some good news from Turkana: acute undernourishment is no longer an issue in the north of Kenya. Together with the partner organisation AMREF, humedica distributed about 23.5 tons of NRG5 high-calorie food in this region, above all to children, pregnant or nursing mothers and elderly persons in remote villages.

Those are only a few examples of our work. Since August 2011, we have distributed tons of special food from Germany and trucks loaded with local food to ten thousands of people all over Kenya. Did it help? Yes it did. We can observe that again and again, when meeting the persons who could fill their plates thanks to the humedica donations.

During the past few weeks, however, we visited our mission regions less frequently than at the beginning of our project. We are pleased that we found good, reliable partners, who know the local conditions and whose structures contribute to making our work highly efficient.

humedica employee Joshua Ogola (r.) talking to Johnston, whose health has improved substantially since he receives regular food supplies. Photo: humedica/Katja Weber

Furthermore, the security situation does not allow us anymore to travel to particular regions, above all in the east of Kenya. This region is controlled by Somali militia, who pose a threat both to us as humedica team (Editor’s note: Katja Weber works as regional coordinator, Joshua Ogola is responsible for logistics and projects), and also to local employees.

humedica will offer active famine relief aid in Kenya until the end of July 2012. It is certainly true that we are only a small piece in the jigsaw of relief organisations that supply those in need in this area, no matter if it is in the framework of short-term or long-term projects.

But we know that each single person makes the donations from Germany and our mission in the country worthwhile. And we hope that we will be able to help many more people in misery, so that step by step we will be able to retreat, and the people will one day be able to provide for themselves and their families.

But this day is still a long way off. Please walk down the path of aid together with us and support our relief measures at the Horn of Africa by means of a targeted donation. Thank you very much!

      humedica e.V.
      Donation reference “Famine relief Africa”
      Account 47 47
      Bank Code 734 500 00
      Sparkasse Kaufbeuren

Also by sending a short text message, you can achieve great results: send a text message containing the reference DOC to 8 11 90. Your bill will be charged with 5 euros, with 4.83 euros being directly channelled into the humedica project work.

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