Written by Edna Onchiri, PR & Communications Manager (Kenya)
As the drought that has caused water and food shortage in parts of Kenya continues, Feed the Children’s office in Kenya is busy working with communities, and the county governments of Samburu and Turkana to address water and food shortage in primary schools and Early Childhood Development Centers (ECDCs).
Focused on some of the hardest hit areas where FEED has implemented programs, the organization is ramping up a number of key activities to assist with emergency response. Some of the ongoing interventions include logistical support to provide at-risk children and their families with nutritious porridge flour and water. Providing health education to communities about water treatment, and working with communities to ensure correct hygiene steps are taken when preparing porridge.
The major water sources in Samburu and Turkana counties have dried up posing serious water problem for both human and livestock. Water access has been a major challenge with sanitation and hygiene conditions deteriorating.
Mothers are forced to walk long distances in search of water for their families, and children have taken to joining their parents in search of essentials which leads to school dropouts.
With no water in some of the schools and early learning centers, children have been forced to stay at home with some ECDC’s closing down.
In responding to the drought situation, FEED has partnered with the County Government of Samburu and Turkana to provide Corn Soya Blend (CSB) flour and water to more than 9,000 children.
Primary schools and ECDCs continue to benefit from the three-month supply of porridge flour and water. The supply began in March and will run through to May when it is expected that the rains would have fallen for crops to grow and water to fill their sources.
According to a March 2017 report by OCHA highlighting the impact of drought and conflict on women and girls, the drought has forced women to make agonizing decisions on whether children can continue to attend school. The report says that in Kenya, 180,000 children dropped out of school due to drought with a majority being girls.
We are prepared to do all that is possible to help communities minimize and address the effects of the drought and subsequent food shortage, and save lives.