We’re on our way to drought-stricken Isiolo from Nairobi to see the work that ActionAid is doing in response to the drought. In the past couple of hours, the view out of our car window has changed from being quite green in the capital to really dry and dusty now.
Things have come to a head. Two consecutive poor rainy seasons have resulted in some places seeing the driest years for 60 years and the terrible drought across east Africa has left around 10 million people on the brink of starvation. Here in Kenya, 3.5 million people are thought to be in need of humanitarian assistance. ActionAid has been responding to the crisis for several months and has already helped more than 200,000 people with emergency food and water. But we urgently need to step up our work here and I’ve come here to find out more about what’s happening on the ground.
It’s been a hectic couple of days. I arrived from Uganda this morning and was whisked into a whistle-stop briefing in Nairobi. We’re now on our way to see how the local ActionAid team are helping in areas where people are desperately in need of food and water.
Isiolo is our first stop. I’ve been told that the big river that normally runs through the town is completely dry for miles and miles, and I’ll soon see for myself. ActionAid is supporting 84,000 people here and yesterday there was a major food distribution. As soon as I arrive, I’m planning to see how things went and talk to people in the community about what they’re experiencing. I’m also going to check out a borehole that’s being installed.
Over the next few days, I’m aiming to visit Sericho, Garba Tula and Garissa as well to see what things are like there. And I’ll be reporting back with first-hand accounts and stories about the people I meet in the community.