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Thursday, March 23, 2017
CAFOD warns Kenyan drought will lead to catastrophe
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¬†Up to 3.5 million people face starvation after severe drought has destroyed crops across many parts of Kenya. CAFOD's partners are growing increasingly concerned at reports of people dying of thirst and up to 70 per cent of cattle of have been lost as the pastoralist communities move their depleted herds in search of water and pastures. Kenya is now said to be facing the worst drought since 1971. Over the past year, the two rainy seasons of April to May and September to October have failed. The north-east of the country has been hit hardest, and communities will not be able to reap a substantial harvest until February 2007. CAFOD has already donated £500,000 in support of the emergency relief response, where partners are working in four areas; Marsabit, Isiolo, Kitui and Murang'a. The funding will help feed the most vulnerable; children, women, the elderly and the chronically ill and provide general food for those who have no means of buying food, because they have nothing left after losing their cattle. CAFOD Humanitarian Officer Dominic Stolarow has been assessing the situation in the worst affected areas. He said: "Cattle die first in times of drought as they can only go for up to three days without water. In some villages I went into I saw carcasses just piled up. There is very little people can do once they have lost their livestock." The UN Food programme (WFP) reports that chronic malnutrition is widespread in the north-east, the worst hit areas. Figures show that the increase is more than 30 per cent. The lack of a decent road network in the northern regions of Kenya makes the region inaccessible and further exacerbates this now fragile situation. Dominic said: "The affected areas are remote, and food lorries have to cross hostile terrain to reach those most in need. "When you reach these areas, the situation of water is very poor, and you realize the tightrope that these communities have had to walk, as I saw wells dried up and bore-holes not working."
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