For years, Jennifer Kasani didn’t have to worry about feeding her eight children – as the family’s livestock flourished and tourists bought her beadwork.
But an intensifying cycle of drought has left her family destitute. Her husband took their starving cattle on a marathon 60km trek to Mt Kenya – in a desperate search for pasture. Many died on the way. Many more have died since then.
Back home, only 20 of Jennifer’s sheep survive – just a third of her original herd – and many of them are weak and all but worthless on the local market.
And as tourism collapsed in the wake of the post-election violence in early 2008, so did her bead business.
For the time-being, Jennifer can feed her family thanks to monthly rations from WFP. But if these were stopped because of the current funding squeeze, it may not be only her cattle, sheep and goats that die. Hungry Get Hungrier As Food Aid Funding Stutters
A population in distress at the frontline of climate change
- Hunger is on the rise in Kenya where 3.8 million people now need urgent food assistance due to a devastating combination of drought and continued high prices.
- Drought has left farmers with empty fields and pastoralists with dwindling herds. The carcasses of dead cattle are littering the land in some of the worst affected areas. Very few of the hungriest people can afford to buy enough food to feed their families.
- WFP will run short of food supplies in October – forcing it to start reducing rations to the 3.8 million Kenyans living in arid and semi-arid areas..