Kenya: Defeating famine and drought

By Huka Duba
Poverty is painfully evident in the community of Lakartinya, Kenya. Food for the Hungry began working here two years ago, through the Marsabit Food Security Program. We were drawn by the people's physical weakness, emaciated bodies, malnourished children, poor sanitation, unbalanced diet, illeteracy, and general living. Diseases such as malaria and diarrhea ravage all 100 households, especially to children under age 5.

Traditionally herders, the people fully depended on cattle, goats and sheep for financial security. One or two did have chickens from which they sold eggs for family income. However, in recent years it was clearly seen that the herders required other sources of income in order to augment their income. Unlike their neighbors who ventured into crop farming, Lakartinya community cherished and maintained herding. As a result, their food supplly has dwindled.

Food for the Hungry has helped. Having seen the zeal and interest of Lakartinya people in crop production, we went in to assist by ploughing small farms for them. We distributed seeds and trained farmers on improved agricultural techniques. Many farmers have adopted the drought tolerant crops we introduced.

The farmers initially experienced problems including wildlife destroying crops. But the community solved this problem by building an electric fence to protect the farms and still allow the wildlife the freedom to roam.

Health activities such as weighing children, deworming, and distributing vitamin A were also carried out in this village. We established a child growth monitoring post to assess the nutritional development and conduct health education of their mothers.

In all of the meetings we conduct, there has been a deliberate integration of spiritual and physical messages aimed at addressing the whole person's need. Because Christ provided an example of preaching to people and also feeding them, we must follow His example in order to achieve the development goals that are approved by the Lord Himself.

Out of our health and agriculture activities a congregation was born in Lakartinya where a permanent service is conducted every Sunday with the leadership of our zonal staff and assistance from Africa Inland Church. The services are done outside the growth monitoring post, because the meeting room is too small to accommodate all the people. The village elders have set apart a small piece of land for construction of a nursery school and a church building to be erected when the Lord provides the funds. We praise God and glorify Him for what He has done through Marsabit Food Security Program.

How you can help...

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