The worst drought in 60 years has caused a severe food crisis in Kenya and left more than 3 million Kenyans facing malnutrition and starvation. The worst hit areas are mainly in Northern Kenya. This has resulted in massive crop failure, drying up of the few water sources, and death of animals which are the community’s major source of income.
In response to the news African Team Ministries shipped a 40’ container with 250,000 meals. It arrived at the church headquarters fully intact with taxes and duty waived. Here is a report from Kenya of some of the distribution.
If you preach to a hungry person the level of concentration goes down. One of the areas most affected by the drought is Mutha in Kitui South. Recent reports tell of families eating bark to survive. The residents of Mutha location are worried by the water situation in the area. The long spell of drought has left all rivers in Ukambani dry. In some families, young boys and girls absent themselves from school to help their parents fetch water. In other families the man accompanies his wife to go look for water.
At the water point, an old man, Mr. Musyoka, said, “Here the major problem is water, we normally wake up very early to get to this place. Sometimes we are so weak, even pumping water is a problem.” He added, “If we can get someone to help us with a water pump it can help up a lot.” Lack of water has led to hard economic times in the area. Many people spend most of their time looking for water. Farming is difficult due to lack of sufficient rainfall. When drought strikes, all animals are lost. This increases the poverty level
Food distribution exercise started on Monday the 16th of July 2012, with the Secretary for relief and Development
inspecting the packed food ready for distribution. He acknowledged the good work done by Keith Jesson and African Team Ministries USA for their love and kindness to the needy. Rev. Mutahi said, “If Christ himself was present physically on earth today, He would do the same thing the church and our friends in America are doing. We therefore thank our friends who have generously given their contributions towards helping the needy.”
After the distribution residents were interviewed. They were very grateful for what the church is doing for them. “We are very happy with what the church is doing. In fact, were it not for the assistance, our situation could be much worse.”.
The problems in Kitui can be solved if only there could be a lasting solution to their problem. The land is productive, but the rain frustrates them year by year. According to the residents, the last time they harvested a good harvest was in 1992.
The local and national church is appealing to friends with like minds to come in and help drill water in areas of high dependency. The church has witnessed the potential the people of Kitui have. “We are very hard working, but we cannot achieve much. When we plant the rain comes and after a short while it disappears. Then everything that we planted is scorched”, lamented Koki Mulu. She continued, “If only we can get water, we can plant horticultural plants and support our families.”
WATER CHANGES LIFES
What does having clean, abundant water mean to a rural community in the arid area of Kenya?
It means they can grow enough food for both people and animals so that cattle don’t look like living skeletons and so people don’t sicken and die as they are weakened by malnutrition.
It means they have enough water for cattle dips so their livestock can be protected by tick-borne diseases.
It means the reduction and even elimination of water related diseases. These include diseases such as typhoid, cholera, dysentery, diarrhea and infectious hepatitis. They result from germs ingested through drinking contaminated water or by washing food, utensils, hands or face with it.
Although so many lack water, it is the most common substance on earth. In America, we often take this most common substance for granted. It’s always there, plentiful and clean at the turn of a faucet when we are thirsty or want to wash — clean fresh water!
In Kenya, the job of finding and carrying water falls to women and children. Journeying to and from the water hole can be debilitating, often burning 90% of food consumed each day as they trek four to six hours to collect supplies.
In response to the drought and as a follow up to providing food for families in the drought and famine areas African Team Ministries is helping to solve the long term problem of a clean and reliable water supply by providing pumps to communities to pump clean water.
BISHOP GERARD MPANGO VISITING FROM TANZANIA
Bishop Mpango served as the second Bishop of Western Tanganyika from 1983-2010. During his leadership, it grew to 500,000 Anglicans and it was then subdivided. He has represented the church in Tanzania on the Anglican Consultative Council, the All Africa Conference of Churches and the World Council of Churches.
Bishop Mpango retired in 2010 to be the director of the SECO Trust (The Samaritans Concern). Its mission is focused on the Christian values of faith, hope and love. Compassion for those in need, the poor, the women, children are its core value.
DRIP IRRIGATION SYSTEMS
In the drought stricken areas of Kenya, the rainfall is erratic and often insufficient. The recent drought in Kenya and Somalia caused more than 260,000 people to die from hunger.
A simple, inexpensive drip irrigation system can bring relief and hope to the thousands of people who are suffering from drought in Kenya. It can also provide a long term solution to the ongoing problem of hunger in East Africa.
This drip irrigation system, known as the “Bucket system”, employs the use of a filter and two drip lines to provide much needed relief to the water-starved crops. The kit contains 100 feet of drip tape that is connected to a bucket suspended three feet above the vegetable bed. A family needs only to fetch an additional two buckets of water a day to care for their crops with this system. The water passes from the bucket through a filter and is then distributed evenly through 100 watering points throughout the drip tape.
African Team Ministries is providing Drip Irrigation Kits to the Anglican and Lutheran Dioceses of the Rift Valley. It costs only $15 to provide a Drip Irrigation Kit for a family.
The Drip Irrigation Kit