The famine relief response charity drive launched by the Catholic Diocese of Nyeri to support Kenyans facing starvation last month, has so far raised Sh8 million.
According to Nyeri Diocese Archbishop, Anthony Muheria, the church through its network of volunteers has already distributed food worth Sh4 million from the kitty to about 3,000 affected households.
Each of the targeted families, according to Muheria has received donations equivalent to Sh2,000.
“Our volunteers have already identified the needy families. Through the initiative, we are sending a pack of 15 kilograms’ worth of food to each of them, meaning they will not be in danger of death due to hunger,” he said.
The Catholic Archbishop was speaking at the Nyeri Consolata Cathedral, when he received powder milk worth Sh 1.7 million from the Brookside Dairy Limited.
He said that through the initiative dubbed, Hope 4 You, the church was intending to raise Sh15 million before January next year in order to support close to 6,000 families in the five counties of Nyeri, Laikipia, Isiolo, Samburu, Marsabit and Kitui.
Muheria noted that as much as the country had received the short rains, a substantial number of people in the country were still in need of relief assistance and called on Kenyans to support those still affected by the famine.
“The rains have come, but we still need to make an effort for those who have planted, but are not going to get the benefit of the rains until January. We appeal to Kenyans to donate whatever they have for those who are still facing hunger and ensure that they too have a happy Christmas,” he said.
Last week, Cabinet Secretary for EAC, ASALs and Regional Development, Rebecca Miano, said that 4.34 million people in the country were still in need of humanitarian assistance.
According to the CS, an estimated 942,000 children aged six months and 4 years and 134,000 pregnant and lactating mothers were being treated for malnutrition.
She said that the situation was still dire in 13 arid and semi-arid counties including Taita Taveta, Isiolo, Kilifi, Kwale, Samburu, Turkana, Wajir, Kitui, Kajiado, Mandera, Garissa, Tana River and Marsabit, where acute malnutrition continues to be reported.
Miano however noted that the situation in eight counties of Laikipia, Narok, Tharaka Nithi, Makueni, Nyeri, Meru and Lamu had improved to alert phase due to the ongoing rains, but warned that the improvement would only be temporary as the country enters the dry season of January.
“The situation may improve slightly within the month due to the showers received in parts of the ASALs particularly with regard to access to water for both households and livestock and regeneration of pasture,” said Miano.
However, these gains are expected to be short-lived as the country heads into the normal January-March 2022 dry spell. Further negative impacts are therefore expected based on projections of poor March to May 2023 long rains,” stated the CS.
By Wangari Mwangi and Rose-Angeline Ngunjiri