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East Africa Famine: SOS launch Famine Relief Programme

Staff prepare supplies to take to drought-affected regions of Kenya
Staff prepare supplies to take to drought-affected regions of Kenya

SOS Children are currently preparing to launch a Famine Relief Programme to help those most affected by the famine in Kenya. Ten SOS Children staff members left Nairobi this weekend for Marsabit in the north of the country, to assist in SOS Children’s Emergency Relief operations in one of the worst-affected areas.

The Marsabit district in North Kenya has been particularly affected by the ongoing drought. Millions are facing hunger and an uncertain future, as a drought continues to destroy their crops and livestock. Not only has this led to a desperate shortage of food and water, but it has also meant the closure of schools as thousands of school children have dropped out of school to join their parents in search of food and water.

SOS Children will support five vulnerable communities in Marsabit, which are together home to over 10,000 people. Working in partnership with other humanitarian agencies including the Red Cross, we will provide food, water and medical care to those most in need. SOS staff and beneficary of famine relief, Kenya

Staff in Nairobi have already prepared much-needed supplies ready to take to the affected areas. The 20-ton truck is loaded with bags of rice, beans, cooking oil, unimix and maize. Another team are already present in Marsabit, to ensure quick and efficient distribution of emergency supplies as soon as the consignment arrives.

 “We are going there to inspire the community with hope”, says Joel, an SOS worker. However, he recognises that they will encounter some issues on the ground. “It is going to be a challenge, for sure. Security cannot be guaranteed as there are a lot of tribal rivalries in the area.”

Problems with distribution in such a chaotic environment are also anticipated. The team will work in partnership with local schools to distribute the food to families in the area. Joel says “Teachers will help us make sure that food is distributed proportionally and, of course, our priority is children and mothers.”

Staff are prepared for difficult weather conditions in the region. “I expect the weather to be harsh”, says David, another SOS worker “we also know water will be a problem because the water in the wadi (river bed) is salty.” Joel agrees “there will be plenty of scorpions, snakes and flies…and the weather will be hot in the day and cold at night.”

In addition to food supplies, SOS Children will offer families medical treatment and vaccinations against infectious diseases.

How you can help

You can make a one-off donation directly to our Emergency Relief Programme in East Africa or take out a child sponsorship to help us to focus on the long-term welfare of children who have no one to care for them as a result of the famine.