GIVING HOPE TO THE HUNGRY
Poverty is the main cause of hunger in the world. This is true in rich and poor countries alike. It is true no matter whether people live in urban or rural areas. Most people who are hungry are living in extreme poverty, defined as income of less than 1£ per day or less in Africa. They do not have the resources to grow enough food to supply themselves with enough to eat year round, and they earn so little income and others have low literacy levels.
The situation in Kenya has been worse this year due to lack of rains which have led to drought. The Prolonged drought has led to hunger, death malnutrition and in some cases wars due to search for pastures for animals. Baringo has been one of the areas immensely affected by intercommunity fighting as a result of interclan fighting which has led to displacement hence formation of IDP camps.
Bible Society of Kenya in partnership with Christ is The Answer Ministries (CITAM) distributed food to 400 families of Moinonin Camp in Baringo North County who have been displaced due to banditry attacks between the Pokot and Tugen communities.
A flag off ceremony was held at Bible House on May 4th 2017 and was attended by a representative from CITAM, Ms. Riri Wakaba and BSK staff. The food consisted of dry maize, beans, cooking oil, porridge flour and maize flour.
Residents in Moinonin camp which hosts 2,000 people have experienced hunger, pain, displacement, loss of property, livestock, and insecurity due to intercommunity violence. There is a lot of anxiety in the area as the residents live in fear that the attackers may come at any time. Children have not gone to school because they may be killed and the schools are not able to accommodate the locals as well as the Internally Displaced Persons (IDP’s). Parents have lost children due to malnutrition and lack of food. Some children are orphans as they lost their parents in the cruel hands of bandits.
Only dry shrubs and dry riverbeds are seen across the rocky terrain. Peace is a rare state despite the presence of police reservists on the ground. The makeshift structures are what they call home. No mattresses, blankets or anywhere to lay their heads. They wonder where the next meal will come from as they only depend on well-wishers like BSK for survival.
A team from BSK consisting of Rev. Dedan Kamau, Programme Officer in charge of Trauma Healing and Rev. Macharia Mbogo from CITAM went to Marigat Town and trained ten volunteers in trauma healing. The volunteers would be instrumental in facilitating a continuous healing process among the members of the community. The adults were divided in several groups and trauma healing took place. The children were also put in their age appropriate classes and activities and teachings were conducted.
“I am so grateful to BSK for donating this food to us today. At least my family will have a meal for the next few days. We are very encouraged to know that BSK cares for us. May God richly bless you!” Says Mrs. Jane Jesang.
This exercise was also facilitated by the County government of Baringo represented by Mr. Peter Kiptum and also the police and administration police who helped to ensure that the entire exercise was successful.
The situation in the camp has now been worsened by the rainy season as they are exposed to the rains, diseases such as malaria, cholera, typhoid and pneumonia. There are no hospitals nearby for pregnant women to attend ante-natal clinics and this exposes them and the unborn children to health related issues and possibility of developing complications during birth.
BSK had visited the area in April 2017 and donated foodstuff, clothing and Bibles to the inhabitants of Chepkewel that have also been affected by the cattle rustling and drought. The residents of Chepkewel are still in need of support since the donations that were made by BSK could only last them a few days.
So much needs to be done and BSK continues to appeal for the support of well-wishers in feeding the hungry in the area and giving them hope to move on past the current circumstances.
“I appeal to well-wishers to donate food, water, clothing, medicine, mosquito nets and blankets so as to help our brothers and sisters here in Baringo. I also urge the members of the community to live in harmony so that we may experience peace,” Rev. Dedan Kamau.
The General Secretary Mrs. Elizabeth Muriuki has expressed the desire for BSK to reach out to the marginalized and the hungry communities as written in the Holy Scriptures in Isaiah 58: 10, “If you pour yourself out for the hungry and satisfy the desire of the afflicted, then shall your light rise in the darkness and your gloom be as the noonday. (ESV)