Drought!

1 Aug

Huge parts of Ethiopia, Kenya and Somalia are affected by the worst drought in decades. Low Rain fall, growing deserts, low investments in irrigation systems and transport infrastructure are hitting Millions of people. Animals starved first, now its children, elderly people, breastfeeding mothers. Everyone. 2/3rd of Kenya are arid or semi-arid areas, meanwhile the other parts are very green and extremely fertile. We have mud slides and floods in the west, while Millions are in hunger on the other side. Hunger and thirst are words that can hardly express what is happening just 10 hours away from me. I have talked to AIESECers and NGO workers who have been in the area in the last days and they are all very shocked and touched with how desperate the situation is.

Check out some pictures here, articles about Somali refugees in Kenyan Refugee Camps here and international reactions here.

Here in Nairobi we are affected, but until now not much more than we were during the last drought in 2009. Water rationing as usual and “Power Supply Management” (a new word invented by Kenya Power for Power Rationing, predefined power cuts) for industrial areas all over the country. Food Prices have increased over the last months.

The government spokesmen said during his press conference, that no Kenyan has yet died of Hunger. Shock on us! Even if he was quote out of context (or so he said later) it is a lie and a shame for all Kenyans to listen to him on media and imagining the international reactions on international media. Every help is welcome and the faster the donations and international help, the better.

A great initiative called Kenyans for Kenya (follow on Twitter) showed that Kenyans are concerned themselves and can do something for the starving brothers and sisters in the north and east. Banks, Supermarkets and Mobile Phone Companies are building a platform for every single Kenyan to be able to donate and give amounts from as much as 10 KSH. The goal is to collect 500 Million KSH in the next 4 weeks to make a big difference in millions of ppls lives that are affected.

My highlight this weekend was a ceremony that I attended where 7 trucks with 150 tons of food (or to be more precise a mixed powder of maize flour and proteins that can be mixed with water to feed undernourished humans) were presented to the public and sent off. Kenyans have so far donated 61 Million KSH in 5 days for the drought victims in the north and east of the country! We heard speeches from the CEO of involved companies, ordinary people who donated and more importantly the Country Manager of the Red Cross, who reminded the public, that the North and East of Kenya with the right investments and infrastructure can feed the whole country and the center and west of Kenya can produce agricultural products for export. A true vision for the country!

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