Failure of planning to be blamed on drought

Africa 620675a 300x204 Failure of planning to be blamed on droughtHaving been born and brought up in a drought and hunger prone region, I am no stranger to stories of people, including children dying of starvation.

I have witnessed animals dying in their hundreds, sometimes in their thousands, men and women suffering from scorching sun with no water to quench their thirst. But this year, the situation has gotten out of hand.

Ethiopia, Somalia and northern Kenya is facing its worst drought in 60 years with 10 million people said to face starvation and the UN reporting this as an ‘emergency situation’.

Personally I have the Kenyan government to blame, they have failed to invest in arid and semi-arid areas which has caused the regions to be perennially vulnerable to drought.

Once you are in the region you will feel the absence of infrastructure and basic services such as health and education. The limit access to national and international market has made the lands vulnerable.

Two years ago, National Drought Contingency Fund was formed to accumulate money for drought responses during good years and quickly disburse it during times of need, but this was never to happen.

Despite the presence of drought warning system, the government strategies remain gloomily wanting, therefore the country is again caught unprepared and in dire need of humanitarian crisis.

Earlier this year through its Ministry of Agriculture, the government reported that there was food stock to last for almost a year and contingency measures were put in place following drought forecasts.

Four months after the announcement, 3.5 million are facing starvation in the country begging the question where did the stock go?

As if it’s not bad enough with the worst crisis of drought, famine emerge at a time when the food prices have risen to an alarming level.

On top of that, the situation is made worse by the hundreds of refugees arriving  from Somalia who flee the war torn country crossing the border into Kenya in one of the biggest refugee camp which is now on the verge of collapse because of its high population.

There have been constant rivalries between the residents in North Eastern Kenya and the refugees from the camp. The residents have complained that the government of Kenya has considered them as refugees, for this reason they have been forgotten and the humanitarian organisations just cater for the refugees needs.

To reduce the constant chaos between the two groups, the humanitarian organisations also started different water projects for the community.

Although different humanitarian organisations have raised a red flag and launched international appeal campaign to help raise funds to assist drought hit population, much more still needs to be done.

The biggest setback faced by Kenya like many other African countries, is lack of forward planning and inadequate response to crises.

This should serve as  a lesson to the Kenyan government and the East Africa as a whole, a contingency plan for food security should be planned given the known of drought cycle.

Urgent reviews of the food security policy and its sustainability should again be planned and anything short of this would spell a vicious cycle of more doom come next year.

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  • Ayan44

    Dear Fatuma
    Thank you so much for your work and congratulations on winning CNN award. I also read your article in The Observer and it blown me away. I am a Somalian, who’s lived in London for the past decade and I felt detached from my people. Your work has given me a new look into our country from a prespective of a woman. Once again – thank you and please keep up the good work. There is not enough of your kind. Ayan Sudi

  • Joe Green

    With millions of Africans fighting for their very survival from violence and hunger, the stage is being set for Bible prophecy to be fulfilled. The United Nations has recently released a report that food prices across the world have risen to an all time record high which is part of the problem for the massive hunger that has hit the triangle in Africa where Ethiopia, Kenya, and Somalia all come together. The reports of millions of Africans fighting for their own survival from hunger are almost unbelievable but may not even tell the whole story. This area of Africa has long been a major drought area causing both livestock and vegetation to be limited in its production of food stuffs in order to be able to feed people. There are official government reports that the situation is not getting better but instead getting worse and headed for a major human tragedy. This present scenario is actually a precursor to what Bible prophecy calls for in the end of times. Jesus, in His Olivet Discourse – Matthew 24, told His disciples that hunger and its increase around the world was one of the signs of His Second Coming to Earth. Remember His Second Coming follows 7 years of Tribulation which is horrific judgment on the Earth, which by the way, follows the Rapture of the Church. The book of Revelation reveals that hunger and famine will increase during this Tribulation period with farmland being burned up, the waters of the Earth being contaminated, and war running rampant across the Earth (Revelation 6:5-6, 8:3-9, 16:19). What we see happening in the Triangle of Africa today is indeed setting the stage for Bible prophecy to be fulfilled in a future tomorrow that may well be very soon.

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