I look forward to the day when I can write a report stating that we no longer have new children needing our help due to drought and we have finished working with those who have come to us in recent years and havve been assisted...... I can dream.
Sadly, Kenya is still in the midst of the worst prolonged drought in decades. Rainfall is not meeting the needs of the people living in the northern parts of the country and, like many of the sub Saharan regions, the cumulative effect of several years of drought has been catastrophic. Not only is the immediate affect of drought devastating to livestock and livelihoods, but it is now clearly apparent that whole ways of life and culture need to be changed to deal with climate change and future drought.
We are now looking at upscaling what we had hoped would be an emergency aid, one-off programme into an ongoing regular part of our work. We now need to put full-time, long-term measures in place to deal with the constant influx of families and children fleeing from impossible conditions in the arid lands a few hours north of us.
We can no longer simply hand out temporary aid and relief - this must now be accompanied by longer term strategies and resettlement programmes enabling families to find alternative means to provide sustainable livelihoods to raise their families within. New farming practices, vocational training programmes, better enrollment in schools - all part of a longer term strategy working alongside emergency short-term rescue and rehabilitation programmes, in addition to partnerships with other organisations providing boreholes and other water programmes..
For those of us fortunate enough to turn on a tap or a sprinkler, to take a dip in a swimming pool, surely we can donate a little something to provide for those who dream of water?
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