Kenya + 1 more

Drought in East Africa

Appeal to support relief action of the YMCAs of Kenya and Tanzania

More than 20 million people in the Horn of Africa are currently at risk of famine due to drought, and the rain cycle in the area has decreased steadily over the last decade. In Tanzania the situation is desperate, especially in some parts of the northern regions, and in Kenya drought is ravaging large areas of Northern Kenya, Eastern Province and the Coastal regions. Most of these districts are considered arid and semi-arid areas where there is little surface water, silted dams and pans, or seasonal rivers. Many schoolchildren have been missing classes they are too weak to walk, and the sun is too hot. Over 3 million Kenyans are facing starvation, and famine has been declared a national disaster in Kenya, just as HIV/AIDS was in 1999.

In January, Kenya YMCA launched an immediate emergency relief action, mobilising the YMCA constituency and the community to work in solidarity with them. The various YMCA branches have been collecting money, food and clothes from the local community and sending these to the people affected through the local YMCAs, especially in the Marsabit and Kilifi regions. The YMCA is hoping to provide food for up to 100,000 Kenyans and to establish long-term solutions to famine including boreholes, a health centre, a youth centre and income generating activities.

In Tanzania the YMCA asked its members to contribute to the relief efforts and collected maize and beans amounting to 570,000 Tanzanian Shillings. A YMCA Drought Relief Committee has been set up to organise an emergency food distribution programme targeting over 320,000 people in the Arusha and Kilimanjaro regions. The YMCA is planning an integrated gardening project using water from sunken wells and development education on the environment to equip people with skills to confront drought.

In response to this crisis, the World Alliance is advancing an amount of CHF 5,000 for the relief programmes of each of the two YMCA National Movements, and appealing to the world YMCA Movement to join the relief efforts undertaken by Kenya and Tanzania YMCA.

Please email secretarygeneral(at)ymca.int if you are able to make a pledge.