There is a river in the heart of Kitui county, Kenya, that used to flow abundantly with water. Today it lies dusty and barren. Five failed rainy seasons—soon to be six—have kept this riverbed dry, leaving over 15,000 people from surrounding villages without their usual water source. Now they queue for hours to dig for a small amount of water that barely meets their family’s needs. 

This is just one snapshot of the ongoing drought in the Horn of Africa, which has driven around 50 million people into crisis levels of food insecurity. 

In large parts of Kenya, Ethiopia and Somalia, livestock and crops have died due to lack of rain, leaving entire communities unable to produce food to eat or sell. Our Christian Partner in Kenya is working hard to help those who are hungry, but in the face of such overwhelming need, they needed assistance. So, we asked supporters like you for help. 

Helping Families Eat

When we launched our Hunger Crisis Appeal earlier this year, Baptist World Aid supporters across Australia responded with overwhelming generosity. Together, we helped our Partner provide 13,476 people in crisis areas of eastern Kenya with essential food packages, so they can be nourished. 

Our Partner distributed maize, beans, rice, flour, and cooking oil to those in need, including 6,844 children and 394 people living with disability.  

Families in the Horn of Africa receive essential food packages.

They also gave vulnerable people packages of nutri-porridge, a food source rich in essential vitamins, minerals, proteins, and healthy fats. John Kinyoki, our Partner’s Chief Program Manager, said this has greatly improved people’s health. ‘It has [also] reduced malnutrition amongst vulnerable groups in the community, especially for children and breastfeeding mothers.’ 

Food packages alone aren’t enough to help people survive. As the drought continues, our Partner is also helping communities address their long-term needs. Recently they rehabilitated a dam in Kitui County so that over 2,400 people could have better access to water. Our Partner’s staff are also conducting meetings with the National Drought Management Authority in Kenya, community members, local government workers, faith leaders and other development organisations. Together, they’re finding effective solutions to address food insecurity in local communities. 

The Crisis Isn’t Over

Like many countries around the world, Kenya is still in the midst of a hunger crisis that has no end in sight. According to our Partner, farmers are expecting up to 50 per cent smaller harvests this season. With few opportunities to earn a living and inflation driving up food prices, some parents are unable to feed their children—or they must go without other necessities just so they can eat. Experts are anticipating the situation will worsen in the coming months, with predictions of little rain for the sixth year in a row.  

‘Keep us in your prayers that the rains would come … so people can access water, so the community can attend to their normal water sources’—John.

To hear John’s update from Kenya, see the video below.

If you would like to help people feed their families, our Hunger Crisis Appeal is still taking donations as this protracted disaster continues. Your donation will help provide food for those who are food insecure, and fund projects that help communities in drought meet their long-term needs.