The following is an e-mail sent out by the national superintendent of the Kenya Free Methodist Church.
We are aware that you are already getting lots of demands on your resources. This, however, is a compelling appeal as it relates to saving lives — many Kenyans are starving and some actually dying, be part of growing list of donors and contribute to this worthy cause of saving Kenyans.
More than10 million Kenyans are faced with starvation. The population of Kenya is estimated to be around 33 million people.
Kenyans are suffering; they are hard hit by the ravaging famine and are looking at the government to come to their aid. It is so unfortunate that our politicians are ignoring the plight of their residents and instead they are engaged in succession campaigns for the year 2012. Churches and people of good will are setting up Kitties in deferent parts of the country for relief food.
In Taita district, it was reported that 550 primary school pupils had dropped out of school due to hunger. Majority of who are orphans who are loitering in urban centers or engaging in child labor to supplement family incomes – according to a report by a District Education Officer.
In Kisii district, a man was burned to death for allegedly stealing maize from a neighbor’s granary on Sunday night. It was reported that he had been forced to steal because of hunger at his home. This killing came amid reports that more and more families were sleeping hungry in the district as famine continues ravaging parts of the country.
To curb the hunger situation, some local initiatives have brought relief to some families by forming a group they call “Good neighbor” which aims is to feed the hungry by supplying food rations as short term goal and creating irrigation projects to sustain food security. The group has decided that to avoid falling in the trap of reliance on relief food, the initiative also involves itself in sinking boreholes and building dams.
Last week, our president, Mwai Kibaki was in Rift Valley province to give Di-ammonium phosphates (DAP) fertilizers and Calcium ammonium phosphates (CAN) to 78,000 farmers and announced new reduced prices for maize seed and fertilizer in the region. This was meant to boost morale and increase production. — DAP had risen to Ksh 6,300 (US$ 83) from Ksh 2,500 (US $ 33). The President said, “food should not only be available to the rich but every home must be able to put proper meal on the table”.
A University from United States of America, Western Kentucky University donated food to over 300 residents in Taita district. The university distributed 36 bags of maize (corn) and 20 bags of beans to more than 300 residents in Taita district. Prof Mike Stokes, who led the group to Kenya, said he was touched by reports that he read in one of the daily that the residents of Taita were eating wild roots to survive, some eating dangerous wild tubers to survive.
There has been despair in North Eastern province as residents share food with game. Famine has forced residents into a rare bond with wild animals. The two have previously clashed over dwindling water and pasture, with casualties reported on either sides; but with biting famine, starving villagers in Ijiara and Garissa share relief food with dying buffaloes. Residents say that the beasts now enter homes looking for food. Many other animals have since succumbed to the drought.
Your assistance to the brothers and sisters in Kenya will go a long way in saving a life. May the Lord bless you as you pray and support us during these hard times.
National Superintendent, Free Methodist Church of Kenya