East Africa Famine Response

Donate To:

Donations to this project have closed, but you can give to our Disaster Management Fund to support communities affected by future disasters.

Area

Rural districts in southern Kenya, some of the hardest hit by the drought and famine in 2011.

Partner

Ukamba Christian Community Services (UCCS), working with communities to make sure that when crises hit, people can cope. 

The Project

Delivering relief in desperate situations is just the first step. The aim of this project is to build resilient communities so that next time they are faced with severe weather conditions, they know how to cope. Many people can access land, but the farming methods they use don’t supply a large harvest, and cannot survive drought conditions.

The issues include:

  • Dry conditions and low rainfall
  • Lack of adequate water sources
  • Poor soil quality
  • Deforestation

To help improve the resilience of farming families, this project will:

  • Help the communities build dams and reservoirs to collect rain water, as well as training in caring for their water sources.
  • Provide families with a variety of seeds that are drought tolerant, nutritious and have a good yield.
  • Help train farmers on sustainable farming methods, including diversifying crops and irrigation that uses minimal water.
  • Provide some training in poultry farming which provides fertiliser, food and income.
  • Set up a nursery to encourage families to plant trees along riverbeds, and around the farmland, to prevent soil erosion.

With improved yields, and a variety of crops and food sources, and a more stable water source, families will be much more able to survive drought, and less likely to suffer the effects of famine in the future.

Philomena and Alexander's Story

Philomena and Alexander at their homePhilomena and Alexander live with their four children in a small, one roomed hut, covered with bits of tin for a roof. They farm communal land, but because of the dry climate, rarely get a decent harvest. They have to rely on Alexander’s income, which he earns as a casual labourer. If he doesn't get work, there is no money for food, and they often go to bed with empty stomachs. At just ten years of age, their son has already dropped out of school and also works as a day labourer to help put food on the table.

In 2011, the worst drought in 60 years hit Kenya, and Philomena and Alexander’s situation became desperate. Work was scarce, and the family faced famine. When our partners began distributing food relief, they were very happy to receive help and they look forward to working with our partner to improve their ability to cope with future disasters.