Families on the verge of starvation in Kenya food crisis

Posted on: Monday, 20th June, 2022
Sofia holding a walking stick is standing with a man from Red Cross amongst farm land.

Kenya is facing widespread food shortages amidst its worst drought in 40 years, and people with disabilities are among those hardest hit. CBM is working with our partners to provide urgent support.

Kevin Sudi, Programme Manager for CBM Kenya, says:

"Here in Kenya, we’re experiencing the devastating impacts of climate change, with a lack of rain leading to crop failures. I’ve travelled around the country in the past few weeks. Most of the farmers I met were unable to sow crops, and the few who have, are seeing them fail. These are desperate times."

Sofia Nyoloko (49), lives in drought stricken Tharaka-Nithi County, Kenya. She supports her mother and five children by working as a casual labourer, but due to the drought and resulting crop failure, her employment has also dried up. Her own crop of green grams (mung beans) and black-eyed peas (cow peas) is also at the verge of failure.

“This is leading us to famine. We wake up hungry. It is difficult for me because I can't find anything to eat for my children or myself. It is difficult.”

Currently, the family is missing one or two meals per day and has so far survived by borrowing food from neighbours. But some days, there is nothing to be shared. The sun relentlessly beats down on the rusty tin roof of her small farmhouse as she tells us; “If the drought continues, it will be very hard for our community. It will be indescribable.”

Because of Sofia's congenital physical disability, an undiagnosed condition of her right leg, her children also have the important job of finding water for the family.

“I am a person with disabilities, I can't carry water myself. I rely on my children to go look for water,” says Sofia.

Water used to be collected from the nearby river, a few minutes walk from their home, but that has dried up. Now, the nearest water source - another river - is a two-hour return walk.

CBM is partnering with the Kenya Red Cross to  deliver urgent support to families like Sofia’s in Tharaka Nithi and Meru counties, enabling them to access food, water or medicines.  

Your urgent help is needed. Donate now to help the most vulnerable people survive this growing hunger crisis. 

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