Contact: Beth Schaefer, Media Relations Manager
Phone: (301) 680-6355 Fax: (301) 680-6370
NAIROBI, KENYA-As nongovernmental organizations (NGOs) are called to intervene in the devastation brought on by three years of drought and famine in Turkana, Kenya, the Adventist Development and Relief Agency (ADRA) is distributing much-needed food aid to thousands.
"Extended drought in the northwest region has exhausted the coping mechanisms of the local residents, and has claimed thousands of livestock over the past three years, which is the mainstay and asset base of the people," reports ADRA Kenya director Fred Kumah. "If the short rains do come, then the next harvest is due in three months. Between now and then, the situation looks bleak." It is estimated that up to 200,000 people are affected.
This week, ADRA staff and local volunteers are distributing10 tons (9 metric tons) of maize, one ton (900 kilograms) of beans, and one ton of high protein blend to at least 5,000 affected people in the vulnerable communities. Turkana is the largest district in the country. ADRA is organizing further relief efforts to alleviate and mitigate the effects of the devastation.
"The current situation is so bad that people and animals are dying en masse," adds Kumah. "Those who are strong enough migrate, leaving small children and the elderly behind for nature to take its course. More needs to be done right away!"
Other current projects run by ADRA in Kenya include providing physical rehabilitation services to those affected by the U.S. embassy bombing in Nairobi, integrated agricultural programs, an AIDS awareness program, and education and school equipment projects.
ADRA, established in 1956, is an independent, humanitarian agency created with the specific purpose of individual and community development and disaster relief in more than 120 countries worldwide. ADRA's International office, located in Silver Spring, Maryland, continues to accept monetary donations for its relief efforts in Kenya. To make a donation, please call ADRA's toll-free number 1-800-424-ADRA (2372). To make an online donation or to find out more about ADRA, visit the web site at www.adra.org.