Bishops warn about the risk of hunger and malnutrition in Kenya

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The Conference of Catholic Bishops of Kenya (KCCB) alerted that more than one million people are at risk of hunger and malnutrition in various parts of the country, stating that the populations of Turkana County, located in the far Northwest, are particularly affected. A dozen people died in a week in the region because of hunger, related for his part the site of information cath.ch.

Tribes of nomadic pastoralists in East Africa are experiencing the consequences of global warming in full force. The food situation in Kenya deteriorated sharply due to a lack of rainfall in 2018. Current temperatures above average have resulted in rapid drying of dams, wells and other water sources.

This climatic phenomenon has caused the decrease in harvests, which have been below the average, as well as the inadequate replenishment of pasture resources. As a result, the crops are very limited, livestock are in danger and the production of milk is very lean. This undernourishment compounded by the lack of water has resulted in livestock diseases. An invasion of Peregrine locusts was also recorded.

Fights between breeders and farmers

While the Government of Kenya is accused of minimizing the famine that strikes the hot and arid region of Turkana, but also other counties, the Kenyan bishops are launching an urgent appeal to support the victims of famine. The water and food crisis also puts the health system at risk and causes risks for peace and security, knowing that it accentuates the struggles between farmers and shepherds following the scarcity of resources.

Famine threatens entire regions of Kenya

The counties of Baringo, Mandera, Garissa, Kilifi, Tana River, West Pokot, Marsabit, Makueni, Kajiado, Kwale and Isiolo are severely affected and the need for food aid is vital. The bishops assert that in March 2019, according to the controls carried out by the Church, the Government, the humanitarian agencies and the local means of communication, food insecurity concerns more than 1.1 million people.

Exhausted water supplies

The delay in precipitation could lead to a major humanitarian crisis in the country, which requires an urgent response from all actors. For Caritas Kenya, of the 47 counties in the country, 13 are "in the drought alert phase". The situation is getting worse quickly in several other counties.

In a communiqué published on the website of the AMECEA (Association of Episcopal Conferences members of East Africa), the KCCB urged the solidarity of all Christians and people of goodwill. Donations in kind (dry food and non-food items) can be channelled through parishes, Diocesan and national offices and other religious institutions. Caritas Kenya, the development and humanitarian aid branch of the Catholic Episcopal Conference of Kenya, will coordinate this initiative.

Moctar FICOU/VivAfrik                  

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