During the east Africa drought, our partners response saved people's lives. Today they're helping people rebuild them.
Faith Ngari believes that she and her family would have died after a prolonged drought left them with nothing to eat in early 2010 had Christian Community Services of Mount Kenya East (CCSMKE) not stepped in to provide emergency food kits.
The packages of food they distributed were a lifeline for the family, seeing them through to the next harvest.
In 2011, CCSMKE again found themselves responding to a crisis as the UN declared that east Africa was facing its worst drought for 60 years. Months after news of the drought first hit the headlines, there is still an immense need to support those who are affected.
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Christian Aid funding is allowing CCSMKE to respond. Despite the challenge of the scale of the emergency and the country's border insecurity with Somalia, CCSMKE managed to reach some of the worst affected communities including the Moyale, Marsabit and Isiolo districts.
Through bringing water to communities, repairing existing boreholes and providing animal fodder to keep some livestock alive, CCSMKE has provided essential support to people across north east and eastern Kenya.
Changing farmers lives
Rains in late 2011 eased the situation across east Africa, but predictions for the next rainy season are ominous and are causing concern over people’s ability to grow enough to eat for the coming months.
Faith is hopeful that this year she, her husband, their three children and the three orphans they care for will not be among those needing assistance. While CCSMKE’s emergency relief in 2010 saved lives, it is the organisation’s ongoing support which has, for Faith, been truly life-changing.
Having brought the community together to ensure those worst affected by the drought in 2010 were supported, CCSMKE encouraged them to continue to work in this way. ‘We were given seeds to plant and to help keep us going. The beneficiaries joined together to help each other on the farms,’ recalls Faith.
With CCSMKE’s advice, Faith’s community is ensuring they make best use of their scarce resources, including by rearing small animals and birds that can scavenge for scraps when little food is available.
Hope for the future
Faith’s small farm looks very different today from 2010. ‘We have made terraces on our farm. Through the terraces our crops are doing well because it concentrates the water. CCS has helped me feed my children and the orphans.’
But more than this, Faith now believes she can build a better life for all the children in her care. ‘Through CCS I have been taught to save money and so I can do something bigger. I would like to educate my children with it,’ she says. ‘Life will be better in five years from how it is today.’
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