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Thursday, October 20, 2016
Northern Kenya hit by severe floods
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¬†Heavy rains in drought hit parts of Kenya have caused severe flooding leaving thousands of people homeless in the northern part of the country. The Catholic aid agency CAFOD, said that the rains would not end the drought, but threaten to worsen the already fragile food situation. CAFOD partners in Northern Kenya report that the rains have made up to 3,000 people homeless. They have washed away key roads that are used to deliver humanitarian aid to vulnerable communities, who are already coping with the effects of last year's drought. Matt Wingate, CAFOD's Drought Response Manager in Nairobi, said: "The rains earlier this year were not enough to restore people's livelihoods. Recovering from drought takes time and many households will be struggling on minimal food until at least the end of the year, The floods have only made matters worse." Joseph Samal, Diocese Development Coordinator for Isiolo, said: "We are extremely concerned about possible outbreaks of waterborne diseases and malaria. The floods have damaged pit latrines, which could contaminate drinking water. We are now responding to the immediate needs of the people by providing food and mosquito nets for a thousand families whose homes have been washed away. CAFOD's drought response work in Northern Kenya will be ongoing despite the floods. Communities will continue to receive supplementary feeding for the most vulnerable and support will be given to help people find ways to cope during droughts. Joseph Samal said: "The programme has already improved the nutritional condition of thousands of individuals in Isiolo. The Diocese wants to work alongside CAFOD and communities in Isiolo and Mwingi to help people cope with drought by themselves. Where they cannot, we want to be faster and stronger to respond." Esther Busquet, CAFOD's humanitarian nutritionist, has trained around 80 nurses and community health workers in supplementary feeding programmes. Esther said: "I have been training people how to identifying malnutrition based on a height to weight ratio. The training really helps because it means the most vulnerable receive food quickly. "If moderate malnutrition becomes severe malnutrition then it is a deadly condition which becomes very hard to cure. If our partners are equipped to deal with malnutrition in the early stages then it can save lives. CAFOD is providing grants of a further £450,000 for a new phase of supplementary feeding in the Districts of Kitui, Mwingi, Isiolo and Marsabit. Since March, the agency has supported partners in eight districts of Kenya and three in Ethiopia through nutrition, livestock and water projects.
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