CAFOD’s Lazarus Walker writes:
One afternoon as we traverse through the dusty roads of Maralal in the north of Kenya’s Rift Valley Province, we meet Catherine Lenguris, who benefited from a CAFOD-funded dairy goat project. Although this part of the Rift Valley is semi-arid, the short rains that came a few months ago have revived the vegetation, and everything is sprouting with green life.
Catherine is one of 70 people who benefited from the dairy goat project. A motherly smile brightens her face as she greets us in her home; her two-month-old baby is safely cuddled in her arms.
Before the project started in 2008, her life was a tale of living from hand to mouth. She owned no livestock and practiced subsistence farming on her small piece of land. The farm never produced enough to feed her large family. Food and other basic needs were hard to come by and many a time her family lived on empty stomachs or one meal a day.
Receiving a dairy goat completely changed her life. In a period of three years she has seen her family’s earnings increase, as well as the health of her children who consume the healthy goat milk.
Our projects have helped to improve water supplies in Kitui
One year on from the launch of our East Africa Crisis appeal, Bishop Anthony Muheria of the Diocese of Kitui in Kenya writes:
Read more about our East Africa Crisis appeal>>
We have witnessed in these last five years the tremendous effects of drought in our region. This is not just the lack of sufficient rains for the crops, but even the lack of the basic necessity of clean drinking water for many of our people. We greatly appreciate the response of many of our partners, to address the emergency needs as well as to join us in addressing the long term solutions to scarcity of water, food shortages and related poverty issues.
To this end we wish to thank CAFOD, who have always been at our side in these difficult moments – specifically in the rainwater harvesting and livelihood programmes, which give a lease of life to many families who suffer a loss of livestock every season. The people are so grateful for the assistance, and on their behalf I extend this gratitude to all at CAFOD and all the benefactors. God bless you all!
Right now, someone, somewhere is talking about Kenyan roads. It’s a universal constant. Meet anyone who’s been to Kenya and it will be one of the first subjects you’ll talk about. “I’ll tell you about a road: it’s not a road, it’s a rock and if you try to drive over it, it’ll take you four weeks…to go one mile…with one vehicle…the world’s best 4×4.” “Ha! Call that a road? That’s like walking over a rubber-covered carpet draped over a freshly concreted drive. I’ll tell you about a road. It’s not a road, it’s an idea. It’s a gaping, concept and you can only cross it with jet propulsion, low gears and prayer” etc. Continue reading
CAFOD’s Laura Donkin explains some of the different ways agencies like CAFOD distribute food.
Bernard, Assistant Logistician for CAFOD partner the Catholic Diocese of Tambura-Yambio weighs a month’s ration of mixed beans for one person.
In situations like last year’s drought in East Africa, there are several ways in which we assist people who need food.
Help us respond to emergencies as soon as they happen>>
Food AidWhere possible, we try to get hold of food supplied by the World Food Programme, who are the specialist UN food agency and who have huge warehouses of food. We then distribute it through our local partners.
The World Food Programme usually try to buy food in the country or region where it’s needed, as shipping food from overseas is costly, time-consuming and can cause problems for the local economy. The standard ration they supply is 2,100 kcal per person per day. However, in practice there is often not enough food to go round, so people sometimes receive less.
If we can’t get food from the World Food Programme or other organisations, we buy food locally through our partners.
The organisations we work with try to distribute the food as close to people’s homes as possible - the guideline is within a day’s walk. However, this is not always possible in remote areas with bad roads.
Filed under CAFOD, Emergency
Joseph Kabiru writes:
During my recent visit to Kitui, I was profoundly surprised by the huge impact on people’s lives every single penny donated by CAFOD supporters makes. I felt really challenged when I reflected on my lifestyle as compared to how communities affected by drought had made the best out of a very bad situation.
East Africa Crisis: how your money has helped>>
They say charity begins at home, but after travelling nearly 300 miles in various parts of Kitui in eastern Kenya, I realised just how much it takes to change people’s lives. For example, for just under £70 , Naomi Mwangangi, a widow and a mother of four, was able change the life of her family. And she still had spare change to contribute to a Widows Association where she is Vice-Chairperson.
“The money I got from CAFOD made a real difference in my life and those of my children,” Naomi told me. “I used most of the money to pay school fees for my children and the rest to buy food and a goat. The support I got has enabled me to invest in the future of my children by ensuring they get a good education.“
Even in the best of times, access to water points is a major problem. It is for that reason that the construction of earth-dams was a priority in the CAFOD response to the drought.
We helped construct the Ikitula earth-dam in the Kyatune area and the impact is clear for Faith Syongu Muimi and her family. Before, she and her husband Jacob Mwanzia used to spend at least three days a week fetching water. It used to take Faith up to eleven hours per day to fetch water from the nearest water points to her home.