“People have lost their livestock and have no food or water. These courageous mothers were forced to make difficult decisions,” said Mr. Griffiths.
Kenya, Somalia and Ethiopia are three countries in the Horn of Africa affected by drought, which has left at least 15 million people in dire need of food and water.
Statistics show that 3.5 million people in Kenya face severe food shortages and malnutrition. This is due to the worst drought in history.
According to Rhoda Wesite Langai, the Service Coordinator in the Lomopus area, hunger has affected mothers to such an extent that they no longer take contraceptives for fear of not being able to bear them without having to eat.
Hunger and family planning
According to a study, food levels in arid and semi-arid counties have declined sharply in the last three months of 2021 due to low rainfall in autumn.
The situation has led to severe food shortages in the first months of 2022. Prolonged drought and malnutrition have left at least half a million children undernourished.
Iyanei Kebe is a mother of eight children. The condition of the last three children is deteriorating. She is forced to sell counterfeit brooms to meet her daily needs, but the market has deteriorated.
“The children are thin because of the lack of food. The county government or aid agencies have not contacted us,” she complains.
Her first daughter, 20, became pregnant before marriage and now has an 8-month-old baby. She is forced to breastfeed even though she herself is not healthy.
The impact of insecurity along the Turkwel River
The Turkwel River is about 7 km from the villages of Lomuputh and Kangatotha, but residents cannot resettle along its banks due to insecurity.
To meet the water needs, therefore, they have to walk the 7 km every day to get water to use. Pupils also have to walk this distance in order to bring water to school and to be able to benefit from at least one meal a day.
The head of the United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA), Martin Griffiths, had the opportunity to see firsthand the plight of the residents of Turkana and said.
“This situation is unfair,” he lamented, explaining that a child who had managed to survive could have gone to high school.
“But to go there he has to make a payment and the payment is a goat. But there are no more goats. It’s all wrong,” he said.
The villagers pleaded with the UN emergency relief official to bring relief to them so that they can ease the burden of hunger and livestock disasters.