CWS emergency appeal update: East Africa drought

December 13, 2011

Workers offload boxes of cooking oil for the food distribution in Kibauni, Kenya. Photo: George Arende

Workers offload boxes of cooking oil for the food distribution in Kibauni, Kenya. Photo: George Arende

Appeal #642-L
Amount: $1.2 million
Amount of funds received as of Dec. 11, 2011: $534,789


Millions of people continue to feel the effects of a historic drought in Ethiopia, Kenya and Somalia. October and November rains have allowed some farming communities to plant their fields in anticipation of a harvest in January or February. Other areas are still dry, and nearly 10 million people are still in need of food assistance, according to the World Food Program. Famine and near-famine conditions continue in southern Somalia.

While the rains have helped, they have also caused numerous problems. Flooding has struck refugee camps in Kenya and Ethiopia and hindered road access to areas of Somalia. Many communities will need food assistance until the harvest and potentially beyond. Livestock has been devastated by the drought and will require several rainy seasons to recover.

CWS response:

CWS is carrying out emergency food distributions through local partners in Kenya’s Eastern Province. In Mwingi and Nzambani districts, CWS is continuing to provide monthly rations of corn, beans, salt and cooking oil to more than 1,060 households through the Kitui Diocese of the Anglican Church of Kenya. Many residents who receive food carry out community projects to conserve topsoil and water, such as constructing sand dams. CWS and the Anglican Church distributed 2,400 tree seedlings in Nzambani as part of this effort.

CWS and the Anglican Church provided 2,700 households with seeds for crops such as maize, cowpeas, beans and sorghum, which are now growing.

In Kibwezi district, funds from CWS have enabled a local partner organization, Community Resource Management, to distribute food to 870 households.

CWS continues its “Water for Life” program to develop water sources in drought-affected areas of Kenya’s Rift Valley and Eastern provinces. Through this program, CWS helped construct 14 sand dams, 11 shallow wells, three borehole wells, one earthen dam and 12 rainwater tanks in 18 Kenyan communities last year. In October 2011, CWS and the Anglican Church constructed four 6,000-liter water storage tanks for schools in Mwingi and Nzambani.

CWS support of ACT Alliance work:

Through the ACT Alliance, CWS is supporting partner organizations in providing food, water and other emergency aid in Ethiopia, Somalia and Somali refugee camps in Kenya.

ACT members active in Ethiopia include Ethiopian Evangelical Church Mekane Yesus, Lutheran World Federation, International Orthodox Christian Charities and Christian Aid. ACT members active in Somalia include Diakonie Katastrophenhilfe, Norwegian Church Aid and Lutheran World Federation.

HOW TO HELP: Contributions to support CWS emergency response efforts in the Horn of Africa may be made online, sent to your denomination, or to Church World Service, P.O. Box 968, Elkhart, IN 46515.

Church World Service is a member of the ACT Alliance, a global coalition of churches and agencies engaged in development, humanitarian assistance and advocacy.