THREE-YEAR DROUGHT

We will all die, say starving Turkana residents

At least 640,000 people are in dire need of food, says county government.

In Summary
  • The drought has wiped out water sources and pastures. 

  • The northern parts of Kenya have received less than 30 per cent of normal rainfall – the worst recorded in decades.

Loputei Adekei, a resident of Nabulon village in Lodwar, Turkana county, receives a donation of maize from the Pastoralist Community Initiative and Development Assistance on May 9, 2022.
Loputei Adekei, a resident of Nabulon village in Lodwar, Turkana county, receives a donation of maize from the Pastoralist Community Initiative and Development Assistance on May 9, 2022.
Image: HESBORN ETYANG

In her 46 years, Mary Lojere has never seen a drought that has lasted three years. 

“We will all die," said the mother of three and resident of Lokiriama in Turkana county.

The drought has wiped out water sources and pastures. 

The northern parts of Kenya have received less than 30 per cent of normal rainfall – the worst recorded in decades.

Livestock, which the pastoralist communities depend on for livelihood, are emaciated and dying in droves. 

The Turkana government has said at least 640,000 people are in dire need of food.

“In 46 years of life, I have never seen something like this,” Lojere said.

She said the situation has pushed them to the brink of disaster.

“The drought is biting. We have no food and water. The livestock that we depend on for livelihood are emaciated and some have died,” Lojere said.

She said the recent rains gave them hope that vegetation would sprout but the scorching sun has ravaged plants.

Leah Ngapesuru, a resident of Loima, has urged the government, NGOs and well-wishers to supply more relief food.

She said they are in dire need of water and food.

Residents of Nabulon in Lodwar, Turkana county, queue to receive relief food on May 9, 2022.
Residents of Nabulon in Lodwar, Turkana county, queue to receive relief food on May 9, 2022.
Image: HESBORN ETYANG
We appreciate the food donation, though it’s little. We have many people who don’t have food and water. Children are suffering because of hunger, most of them are not going to school because there is no food in schools
Elija Kiapa, resident of Nabulon in Turkana

Food donation

The Pastoralist Community Initiative and Development Assistance, an NGO working in northern Kenya, is one of the organisations that have stepped in to help the residents.

Programme manager Samuel Lentoror said they aim to donate maize, beans, cooking oil and maize flour to 7,000 families in Turkana.

Each family will receive 3kg of maize, 7kg of beans, 5kg of maize flour and 1 litre of cooking oil

“We are here in Turkana county to distribute food to families affected by drought and hunger courtesy of the Kenya Covid-19 Response Fund. We are targeting 7,000 families in Turkana,” he said.

Lentoror said they are targeting 1,000 families in Lokiriama, 1,000 in Urum, 500 in Todonyang, 500 in Lokangai, 2,000 in Kanamkemer and 2,000 in Lodwar.

He said the situation is alarming because livestock are dying and the lives of people are threatened.

Lentoror said people are in dire need of food, water, cash and clothing.

He said Pacida is providing relief food in Turkana, West Pokot and Marsabit through its ‘Bega kwa Bega' fund-raising initiative.

Elija Kiapa, a resident of Nabulon, thanked the NGO and urged the government and well-wishers to supply food every month.

“We appreciate the food donation, though it’s little. We have many people who don’t have food and water. Children are suffering because of hunger, most of them are not going to school because there is no food in schools,” he said.

Edited by Josephine M. Mayuya

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