The Catholic Diocese of Nyeri has launched a famine relief response fund through which they hope to support Kenyans facing starvation occasioned by the ongoing drought.
Speaking when he launched season two of the initiative, dubbed “Hope 4 You”, Nyeri Diocese Archbishop Anthony Muheria said that they were running the initiative for two months with a target to raise donations worth Sh 20 million to support vulnerable families in Nyeri, Laikipia, Isiolo, Samburu, Marsabit and Kitui counties.
“We hope to run this programme for two months that before the impact of the ongoing rains are felt, the vulnerable families are expected to harvest some food even if it will not be the usual grains. We are also targeting the young children, the old people and schools that are not under the feeding programme by offering nutritive support to children who risk developing stunted growth due to lack of essential diets” said Arch Muheria.
An estimated 4 million Kenyans are at the brink of starvation owing to prolonged drought. Currently, the county government of Nyeri estimates that over 130,000 people including school going children are in need of humanitarian assistance with Kieni constituency being the most affected part of the county.
Terming the current drought situation a disaster, Arch Muheria attributed the climate crisis to many years of unchecked human activities but said it was time to assist those in need as the government tries to provide long-term solutions to the perennial crisis.
“Our country has been hit very hard. This is the biggest drought in the last 30 years. Some people have not harvested for over six seasons which means people in the dry and semi-arid areas are facing the danger of death, and so we urge all Kenyans to come out and do something by contributing in channels that have been set up in National and regional levels,” said the Nyeri Diocese Archbishop.
“Hope 4 You” initiative was first launched in 2020 during the Covid-19 pandemic where more than 20,000 families that had lost livelihoods due to the pandemic received food assistance.
An M-pesa Paybill number (Account Number: 4023131) and a bank account (Cooperative bank: 01128991686700) have already been set up where members of the public can channel their support during this second season. While launching the initiative, Arch Muheria said that the church will take care of the logistical cost of ensuring that the food donated gets to the vulnerable groups.
“The Archdiocese will be able to cover all the running costs and the logistics. We want you to take care of that flour or maize that will go to the needy family,” said Muheria.
By Wangari Mwangi