Appeals & Response Plans
- Kenya: Floods - Mar 2018
- East Africa: Armyworm Infestation - Mar 2017
- Kenya: Floods - Apr 2016
- Kenya: Floods - Nov 2015
- Kenya: Cholera Outbreak - Feb 2015
- Kenya: Drought - 2014-2018
- West Africa: Ebola Outbreak - Mar 2014
- Horn of Africa: Polio Outbreak - May 2013
- Kenya: Floods - Mar 2013
- Kenya: Floods - Jan 2013
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DROUGHT and crop failure in different parts of Africa – particularly in East Africa – is causing a ‘humanitarian crisis of staggering proportions’, according to The Salvation Army’s world leader General André Cox. The international church and charity’s response to the widespread famine is focused initially in northern Kenya, where the country’s president has declared a national disaster in 23 counties.
The two Salvation Army territories in Kenya are joining together to put in place plans to cope with any disturbances that could follow this year's general election. The 2007-8 election led to many outbreaks of violence, catching the government and humanitarian agencies by surprise, with many unable to provide assistance to people seeking refuge.
Commissioner Donald Ødegaard, International Secretary for Programme Resources, has visited Kenya to monitor the progress of a Salvation Army emergency services famine relief scheme. Spending six days in the country, the commissioner travelled to many areas, inspecting projects initiated by the International Emergency Services team based in Nairobi. The projects include provision of both food and water.
The 'Food For Fees' project has been an instant success in Kenya.
The Salvation Army's International Emergency Team has been working in Kenya for more than a month, trying to meet some of the needs that drought has brought on the long-suffering people. Water storage tanks and rain-water harvesting equipment are being provided and plans are under way to dig boreholes which will be a longer-term source of water. The most recent part of the scheme enables water to be trucked to where the need is greatest.
All these projects will provide long-term benefits beyond the current crisis.
The Salvation Army has commenced its drought relief programme in Kenya. A team of specialists has been deployed to Nairobi, where a Salvation Army Relief Zonal Coordination Office (SARZCO) has been established. Under the leadership of Captain Mike McKee (International Emergency Services Field Operations Officer) work has started on three programmes. This is in addition to projects set in place by The Salvation Army's Kenya Territory.
Captain David Kinsey, a Salvation Army officer from the UK, is responsible for the installation of emergency water tanks.
Major Cedric Hills (International Emergency Services Coordinator) recently returned from an assessment visit to Kenya, where a severe drought has resulted in widespread crop failure and famine. Here he reports on the shortage of a commodity that many people take for granted.
In my country (the UK) when I leave home and step into a downpour it is an inconvenience.
Damaris Frick, seconded from The Salvation Army in Germany, was part of the International Emergency Services assessment team which looked at how The Salvation Army might best respond to the humanitarian crisis in Kenya. She reports here on her experiences in this, her first emergency services deployment:
Driving through Kenya, you cannot ignore the drought. For three years there has not been sufficient rainfall -- the last five consecutive rains have failed -- and the situation now is very severe.
Kenya is one of a number of countries currently experiencing a humanitarian crisis. The short rains have failed and nearly 3.5 million rural pastoral and farming people -- including 500,000 schoolchildren -- need emergency assistance to sustain lives and protect livelihoods. Following five consecutive poor seasons, vulnerable populations are running out of coping options.
After a year that has seen The Salvation Army responding to disasters throughout the world, including the South Asian tsunami, the hurricanes and mudslides that swept across the Americas and the South Asia Earthquake, The Salvation Army is again focusing on the increasing famine crisis in the Sub-Saharan region of Africa.
Predictions of famine are making Salvation Army leaders in Africa increasingly concerned for needy families in the region. Food shortages are already being experienced in many places and weather forecasters are predicting continuing drought in some areas and for worsening floods in others. Either situation is likely to lead to famine and the potential for devastating loss of life.
"At least 10 million people face starvation in four southern African countries unless the international community acts swiftly," United Nations (UN) agencies have warned. Serious maize shortages, which first became a problem towards the end of 2001, have become even worse this year. Flooding in several areas, followed by a period of drought, has led to a developing food crisis of mammoth proportions.
As desperate families in Kenya continue their fervent prayers for rain, The Salvation Army's Famine Relief Programme is moving into its third phase. Since the beginning of the food distribution programme in September 2000 approximately 700 metric tonnes of basic food commodities have been delivered. Single-family ration packs consisting of six kilos of maize, one-and-a-half kilos of pulses and half a litre of cooking oil have been allocated each month to over 15,000 families (approximately 90,000 persons).
Because of the efforts of The Salvation Army, nobody has died in Nakuru District,' was the reaction of a Senior District Officer to the Army's feeding programme in the Nakuru District of Kenya.
Both projects undertaken by The Salvation Army in Kenya - the Nakuru District emergency feeding programme and the countrywide distribution of Unimix to pre-school children - are on schedule.
I'M beginning to realise the truth of that old phrase, 'It's a small world'. I certainly wasn't expecting to bump into anyone I knew while waiting to collect photos in a shopping centre in Nairobi, Kenya. I almost walked past him in the photographic shop. 'Hello, Cedric, fancy seeing you here!' I was taken by surprise.
Each vehicle of the caravan disappeared from view, enveloped in a blanket of dust, as the procession continued 10 or so miles into the bush. Desolate fields marked the route. Dry stalks of corn were strewn on the ground where healthy stalks once stood. The metal constructions of rods and bars people had built to scare off scavengers were no longer needed. Carcasses of livestock dotted the roadside.
The Salvation Army International Emergency Services project in Kenya is now halfway through its planned three month campaign to help alleviate the situation of those suffering from famine and severe drought conditions. To date 25,000 families, representing 150,000 people, in 45 different villages or communities have received two months' supply of ration packs containing maize, pulses (beans) and cooking oil.
KENYA is suffering from what some believe to be the worst drought to hit eastern Africa in a century. More than three million Kenyans face the threat of famine. With no substantial rains for three years, water is scarce and crops have failed. Children and the elderly are the most at risk of starvation.