The Anglican Diocese of Chichester in southern England is assisting with urgent relief efforts in the drought hit Kenyan Diocese of Nakuru. An emergency grant of 5000 pounds is being sent directly to the Diocese, which, in partnership with the Anglican Church of Kenya’s Development Services, will buy and distribute foodstuff and other essential supplies in the most affected areas.
Chichester’s World Mission Officer, the Rev’d Canon Ian Hutchinson Cervantes, has mobilised funds to try to avert a tragedy following an email from Bishop Joseph Muchai requesting assistance.
Bishop Joseph wrote: “Baringo County is one of the 47 counties of Kenya. It is located in the former Rift Valley Province. Its headquarters and largest town is Kabarnet. The County is frequently affected by drought and famine leading to human and livestock loss. The county has not received adequate rainfall for the last two years leading to human death, human migration, and human–wildlife conflict and inter-tribal wars. The situation worsened in October 2016 when the county did not receive any rain as expected in the short rains season. The communities are more vulnerable to drought because of their heavy reliance on livestock as their own source of livelihood.”
Canon Ian said: “The number of households affected by drought could be up to 5000 with the figure increasing daily. The emergency aid will assist with funds to reduce human death and suffering. I am grateful to the Diocesan Overseas Council for approving the emergency sum which is just under half the total amount requested.”
A group from Chichester is due to be visiting Kenya in May and they will be given the opportunity to visit the drought affected area and see some of the ongoing work the Diocese of Nakuru intends to undertake with those families it is targeting. There have been confirmed reports of community members resorting to wild (and in most cases poisonous) fruits for food. Most of the dry water pans are already contaminated by animal carcasses which die around water points due to hunger, exhaustion, heat and disease.