As devastating and extreme drought persists in Kenya, 4.2 millionpeople are extremely food insecure and are in need of urgent humanitarian food aid. Approximately 942,000 children under the age of 5 are suffering from acute malnutrition. Our immediate focus is to help protect children by ensuring there is food and water in schools, but we need your help. As Famine looms, we’re doing all we can to protect children and families on the frontline of climate change. The situation is worsening, particularly in Turkana and we urgently need to reach more schools and more children.
This is the worst drought in Kenya in 40 years – a disaster, which has dried up water sources, killed livestock and destroyed food crops across the country.
It is now likely that a fifth consecutive rainy season will fail in October which will lead to even more alarming food insecurity in the region.
Drought, which previously occurred every 10-15 years now occurs almost annually in Kenya, decimating the livelihoods of already vulnerable communities.
As droughts become more frequent in Kenya due to climate change, the poorest and most food insecure areas are being hit hardest, among them our target communities in Turkana and Kajiado.
Turkana is among nine counties that have the highest numbers of people facing high acute food insecurity.
With pastoralists having to walk longer distances, up to 30km, in search of water, food and forage for their livestock, tensions among communities have risen and an increase in inter-communal conflict has been reported.
Women and girls are disproportionately affected by drought as they care for others and search for water. The likelihood that women and girls will be subjected to sexual and gender-based violence increases during times of drought as the burden of water collection falls on them.
Lockdown poverty and prolonged drought has forced many families to marry off under-age daughters to ease expenses and there has been a considerable increase in the number of girls undergoing female genital mutilation (FGM) as communities return to harmful traditional norms.
According to Programme Manager, Girl Child Network Kenya:
“School feeding is critical to the heath and nutrition of children and ensures they stay in school, safe and learning throughout the high risk period of drought. School feeding reduces pressure on households who are food insecure in times of crisis.”
What Aidlink is doing?
Our immediate focus is to help protect children by ensuring there is food and water in schools. As we enter the final term of this year, Aidlink and our partners are currently providing school feeding to vulnerable children in 40 of our programme schools in Kenya. Our immediate focus is extending our school feeding programme to reach approximately 5,000 children in 15 more of our target schools in Kapedo, Turkana and Kajiado. With your help, we can ensure that children stay in school, safe and learning, during this acute risk period.