Death fields of hunger?
How do we respond to the dire famine devastating the horn of Africa region? Countries of Kenya Ethiopia andSomaliaas have been rightly said are experiencing the greatest drought in 60 years, consequently precious life of plants and animals and soon humans will be lost will these be the new death fields of hunger?
With only a week of rainfall during the long rain season in the Northeastern Kenya, it became obvious to me and other residents that we will be in for a song and now we are singing it. A leader, A.K. narrated that; “pastoralists moved their herds to Somalia in search of pasture and water, as often done in such droughts, found worse conditions there. Similarly, those who went toEthiopiawere just as disappointed.”
Besides the pastoralist, all people living in the region are hit hard and would find it hard to survive. Where foodstuff can be found in stores the prices are punitive, many have no job opportunities as well.
We have worked in this region for over 20 years and now facing disaster of this magnitude I cannot but hear the voice of Jesus who commanded the twelve: “… give them something to eat.” Mark 6:37 when confronted with the hungry 5000 people.
Visiting our famous cattle market it is being reported that cattle are selling for under Ksh 4000 [GBp 39] five or so lower, a goat going for ksh.100 in other areas… and that would
be better than loosing them in death.
This is literaly wiping out the wealth and livelihood of this community for years… a region truly rich is livestock!
This time around the publicity of the famine has touched far and wide and we hope needs can be met and all people will be helped! The NGOs and Government through the provincial administration[ chiefs] are putting up measures to feed the people in the region and the refugees not only fleeing war inSomaliabut this calamity.
But minorioties in the region may fall between the cracks of victimisation or neglect and should be addressed. The Christian minority population has in the past been neglected or ignored in this majority Muslim context and have had untold suffering in times of trouble. The focus on children need to be hightened as this is also another blind spot. The vulnerable members of the society are often squeezed out of help.
Speaking to AHM who is in his early fifties and blind in both eyes depends on one of his sons to get him around. He has seven children from the two wives he married who left him. All their cattle is gone except for two tinny machinated sheep. With a house in disrepair with no toilet, he requested for help in constructing one and repairing his house.
“where do I get food for my children ?” was his most pressing need.
TSM a Kenyan Christian mission with work in this region is responding to this challenge in providing food support to the community and focusing on these gaps on
• Minorities: Christians in these areas often miss out on help
• Children: especially orphans and child-led families
• The physically challenged: it is so easy for them to be out of sight and forgotten
We hope to look beyond the relief to look at issues of boreholes which will help the pastoralists preserve some animals
“How much bread do you have?” Mark 6:38… We are inviting your participation in this challenge to ‘give them something to eat’
# it will cost $ 35 to support a family for a month
# to support child feeding scheme will cost $ 10 a month
# do bore hole costs about $ 1000 each.
• For the people you need urgent help. Many of them are trying to survive in unimaginable conditions
• For their spiritual needs of those affected. Their souls are precious to God.
• For the hearts of every able person or organization to be touched and respond.
• For people who can come aboard and live assistance to coordinate the relief effort.
Here is a unique opportunity to show the love of Christ in a practical way.
Rev. Canon F Omondi .TSM