When is enough not enough?

Posted by Sarah Caughey on Mon, 17 Oct 2011 | 0 comments | Bookmark: digg this Post this to del.icio.us Post this to Facebook

When is enough not enough?

Drought and Famine

If you’ve followed the news in recent months, you will be aware that drought and famine are once again raging across East Africa. For many of us the immediate response can be ‘Surely not again!’ It’s only been two years since we were in exactly the same place, being told about the severe drought and seeing animals and people suffering and dying because
of famine.

Maggie and I have just returned from Kenya and what we saw there will, in a few weeks time, be just as harrowing as it was in 2009. So, what has happened? Why has drought and famine visited East Africa again after so short a time?

Drought might be natural, but famine is man-made.

Drought may be the result of a number of different climatic conditions all coming together at the same, but for East Africa, it is not unusual! Drought is a recurring theme in the region. It has been there since the beginning and will continue to be there, simply because of its geographical location. For this part of the world, including Kajiado, drought is natural. If drought is natural, and expected, then it would be reasonable to suggest that some measures are put in place by the government to offset the extreme impact it has on the population: an organised response that brings food to those who need it, on time; agricultural policies that ensure that crops are grown, harvested and stored in the good years, to be ready for use during the bad years. However, corruption, greed and ineffectual government combine to make an all-too-often inadequate response to the needs and suffering of people. Drought might be natural, but famine is man-made.

The Church’s Response

The reality is that people are suffering and dying, and the Diocese of Kajiado is right in the middle of it all. Even though we made an appeal in 2009 for relief support, it still is not enough. Progress has been made – Bishop Taama and his team have been working very hard to reduce the impact of drought across the whole Diocese.

For example, in 2009 we gave three goats or sheep to people in 6 different communities. By caring for these animals, many of these people now boast of having up to 15 sheep/goats – a herd! The impact of this drought is not as severe on them this time round because they are able to resist it.

Other communities were helped to construct water dams or catchment tanks. With good management, they still have water today and so the drought does not have the same impact this time. We provided seeds to other communities were it was possible to plant. When the rains came in 2010 they planted, harvested and stored.

Simple measures – but effective.

These are some of the things that the Churches and individuals across Ireland have been involved with over the years and they are making a significant difference to the quality of life being experienced by many people in the Diocese of Kajiado.

But, the Diocese of Kajiado is a very big place and there are still many areas that have not been touched by this kind of support.

That’s when enough is not enough!

Proposed Intervention 2011

This appeal is aimed towards the communities of Mberikani, Torosei and Eselenkei, which have been identified as being the worst hit at this time. Targeting 200 children under the age of 5 in each community.

As with previous appeals, this one will have two elements:

- an immediate response to the suffering of families with children, to help sustain a reasonable quality of life between now and the expected rain in late October.

- to support the three communities with water storage tanks.

Your Response

As CMS Ireland is in a strong partnership with the Diocese of Kajiado, it is right and proper that we stand alongside them in this time of great need.

We ask you to continue to pray for rain in its season so that people can go back to living in as normal a way as possible.

But we also invite you to consider supporting this appeal. For every £1 sent into this appeal we can guarantee that £1 will be sent out to Kajiado and used to make a significant difference to the lives of very many families.

How your support will be used:

Specifically, we are hoping to raise funds for the following:

1. Providing Unimix (a blend of cereals made for young children. Cooked with oil. it is very nutritious) to at least 200 children within the three Communities. The cost will include purchase, transport, storage and distribution in each Community. £2 per week will be enough for one child.

2. Providing beans to the same families. Beans are easy to store and cook and are a good source of protein. £5 per week will be enough for one child.

3. Purchasing and installing Community water storage tanks in all three Communities on Public buildings – Schools and Clinics. £450 will be enough for one 5000-litre tank.

The Cost

Food relief
Unimix: 200 children x 3 Communities x 6 weeks x £2 per week = £7,200

Beans: 200 children x 3 Communities x 6 weeks x £5 per week = £18,000

Water tanks
10 tanks x 3 Communities x £450 each = £13,500

Total of Appeal = £38,500

Click on the links to access more information about Kenya and Kajiado Diocese.

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