When 10-year-old Badasa Hussein’s dad ran away, he was left to look after his mother and four sisters. School meals are all that keep his family alive.
My father lost most of his livestock and then he left us behind. It’s been months since we have seen him. Maybe he is dead. I am the man of the family, but I cannot provide for my mother and sisters.
Badasa’s young life has been shadowed by death. “I had three friends who lived near me. They all got sick and died from different diseases. The last one died a few months ago. He just fell sick and passed away. He was skinny and would not have died if he had enough food.”
The school lunch is the only meal he gets. He takes any leftovers home to his mother and sisters and that is what they survive on. Badasa struggles to concentrate on anything other than his hunger at school - despite his determination to study and become a teacher one day. School holidays can be very hard. Recently, he went without food for three whole days – an experience that left the child feeling suicidal.
The last rain I remember was three years ago. Since then, the drought has got worse every day. Most livestock have died and I have seen hundreds of carcasses.
It is this succession of droughts that has meant the reserves or measures people normally make to survive hard times have long since been exhausted.
ActionAid is running a school feeding programme that supports the eight schools in and around Sericho. It covers all 3,118 pupils at the schools.
ActionAid plans to step up the relief aid effort with money raised from the drought appeal. The need is currently being assessed and more help is on its way.