Kenya

Kenya Famine Relief Update 09 Nov 2000

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.
Such was the scene common to the four routes serviced in the second monthly food distribution to some 2,000 families in the outlying regions of Narok. The few fortunate family representatives at each of the 12 locations clutched their ration cards as they stepped up to get their meagre ration. Others stood by, hoping somehow to be included, but they left disappointed.

One Masai family admitted a few of the Salvation Army team members to their manyata (homestead). Only one of the six households at that location received a ration of food. Some from the team watched as the 'mama' of that one home turned the maize (corn) into one of the staples of their diet, ugali, finishing the meal off with strong tea. Vegetables, meat and the blood and milk drink common to their diet are rare bonuses in these drought-ridden days. As the 'demonstration' continued, others from the team chatted with resident children and adults.

After the visit the trek to the tarmac road was renegotiated. However, this time there was quite a turn in events. It began to rain.

And it rained bucketfuls. The dry, dusty soil turned to slick, slimy mud. Water pooled in some places on the road and rushed down the road in torrents in other places. It was like driving on ice. Occasionally a detour through a field was necessary. Some of the team members were shaken up a bit when their vehicle went front first into a ditch. Finally, late into the evening, all the volunteers reported safely back to the place where the day had begun.

The events of the week started with a distribution of food to approximately 5,000 families in nine locations of the Nakuru district and also included the distribution described above. The week ended with observing 55 pre-school children enjoying a meal of UNIMIX (soya, maize, and sugar fortified with vitamins and minerals), and praying for rain.