At least 4,000 people from Lenkisim ward, Kajiado South sub county have a reason to smile as Carrefour supermarket chain, in partnership with the Kenya Red Cross and Capwell Industries, distributed 8,000 bags of relief food to the drought affected families in a ‘Save a Life’ Campaign.
Through the initiative each of the 4,000 families received two bags of food aid containing 10 kilograms of daily essential items including maize meal flour, rice and greengrams.
“The donations are a show of our commitment to provide much-needed aid to families facing famine due to the ongoing drought in the country. We recognise and appreciate the goodwill of our customers, who turned out in numbers to support the initiative through their generous donations,” said Franck Moreau, the East Africa Regional Director of Majid Al Futtaim, under which Carrefour operates.
The distribution follows a two-month long exercise in all Carrefour stores in the country that raised almost Sh 5 million worth of donations.
During the food donation drive, customers were encouraged to buy and donate a food hamper at the subsidized price of Sh 599, with Carrefour and Capwell Industries covering the difference to make them more affordable for Kenyans who wished to donate. Additionally, Carrefour donated one more bag for every 10 bags sold.
Dr. Asha Mohammed, the Secretary General of Kenya Red Cross Society said that the drought situation remains critical in 22 of the 23 ASAL counties due to the late onset and poor performance of the much-anticipated October to December 2022 short rains, coupled with four previous consecutive failed rain seasons.
“Lack of water, inaccessibility of health and nutrition services and loss of livestock have exacerbated food insecurity in the country. We appeal to well-wishers to continue supporting the ‘Save a Life’ initiative through cash donations via M-Pesa Paybill:10000 Account No.: Drought,” said Dr. Asha
A beneficiary of the relief food, Mzee Joshua Tuala couldn’t hide his joy after receiving his relief hamper and said that his family is now guaranteed a meal at least for a week as they were not sure where to get the next meal due to the drought.
A lactating mother, Jane Naisoi says the situation has been tough for her. Government estimates that some 380,000 families are facing starvation in Kajiado.
“The drought decimated our livestock and the few that remained had to be relocated in search of water and pasture. This leaves us with no milk for the children and food has also become hard to get due to the drought and the little we grew in November wilted due to lack of rains,” said Naisoi.
Grateful for the relief food she has received, Naisoi is appealing to more well-wishers to chip in and give a helping hand as the situation keeps getting worse by day.
According to the National Drought Management Authority, over 4.35 million Kenyans have been affected by drought and require relief assistance. Additionally, over 1 million children and 150,000 pregnant and lactating mothers are malnourished, and families have lost over 70 percent of their livestock to the drought.
By Diana Meneto