As Kenya Drought Worsens, World Concern Responds

Samburu Families Travel Miles in Search of Water and Pasture

August 29, 2019 (SEATTLE) – World Concern staff in the Samburu region of Northern Kenya are growing increasingly concerned as they witness the effects of ongoing drought on families in villages where World Concern works. Lack of water and food are causing families to leave their homes in search of water and pasture for surviving livestock. Many children are severely malnourished and need immediate intervention.

“The little water that was in the water pans dried up two weeks ago and livestock have nothing to feed on,” said Rose Ogolla, Project Manager for World Concern. “This has led to an immediate mass migration. People are walking for up to 90 miles in search of water and pasture, usually leaving women, children, the disabled, and the elderly behind. If the situation worsens in the next two months, there will be high cases of severe acute malnutrition, extreme water scarcity, increased respiratory tract infections, and water borne diseases.”

World Concern is providing emergency cash grants to families in Samburu, as well as ready-to-eat therapeutic nutrition to malnourished children, in partnership with the Ministry of Health. World Concern has also installed rainwater catchment systems and plans to build sand dams in the area, but the April/May long rains failed, and rain is not expected until the end of October.

Due to the drought, livestock prices have fallen as food prices soar. A goat that used to bring $30 now sells for only $12. Samburus depend solely on livestock for their livelihood. “We are concerned that if the situation worsens, this will result in the death of livestock,” said Oglolla.

World Concern serves seven of the more than 800 villages in Samburu. There is a desperate need to reach more villages with emergency food, cash grants, and water.

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For interviews with World Concern staff around the world, please contact Cathy Herholdt, Senior Communications Director, at (206) 794-9775 or cathyh@worldconcern.org.

World Concern is a Christian global relief and development organization. With our supporters, our faith compels us to extend lifesaving help and opportunity to people facing the most profound human challenges of extreme poverty. At World Concern, the solutions we offer, the work we do, creates lasting, sustainable change. Lasting change that provides lasting hope. Our areas of expertise include disaster response, clean water, education, food security, child protection, microfinance and health.