Kenya + 1 more

Hunt for water turns desperate

Drought-hit Kenyans are resorting to desperate measures to find water which are putting their lives at risk, according to a Tearfund partner.

The Turkana region is one of the worst affected by the lack of rain in Kenya, leaving many thousands of people who rely on livestock for their livelihoods battling for survival.

Family life is being disrupted with many children unable to attend school because their families need them to obtain water from any source available.

A spokesman for Tearfund partner, the Christian Reformed World Relief Committee (CRWRC), which is providing emergency water supplies in Turkana and West Pokot to 1,000 pastoralists and their families, said, ‘Unfortunately, many of these alternative sources are unsafe. The water itself is unsafe and some of the methods of obtaining it can be very hazardous.’

One common practice involves children digging down deeper in wells to find water but the dry sandy soil means as they go further down the chance of collapse increases. Youngsters have been severely injured, even killed, trying to obtain water this way.

‘We are currently working to identify numerous sites throughout Turkana to rehabilitate, repair or install accessible clean water systems,’ said the partner spokesman.

Fleeing family

Thanks to generous support for Tearfund’s East Africa appeal, our partners are providing a mix of help for people without enough food and water in northern Kenya.

Hygiene kits, cooking utensils, materials for shelter and water containers are being distributed.

As well as the Kenyan population, help is being given to refugees coming across the border from Somalia.

Typical of them is Genesse and Safia Mohamed and their three children aged between four months to six years old, who arrived in Dhamajaley on the Kenyan side of the border recently.

They fled from Kismayu in Somalia because of the drought and conflict, traveling for ten days on foot with a donkey cart, which also doubled as their shelter.

They have ten goats remaining in their herd, but it is difficult to find pasture for them. They are travelling to Hagadera refugee camp in Dadaab, Kenya and don’t want to return home until there is peace in Somalia.