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RCS distributes aid to drought victims in Kenya

posted on 09/04/2006: 776 views

Garisa, Kenya - A delegation of the UAE Red Crescent Society (RCS) distributed yesterday relief items to victims of drought that has plagued Kenya and some Horn of Africa countries for some years.

The items which included foodstuffs, tents, and medicines were distributed to some 2000 children in three camps in Garisa district in North Eastern Kenya. Soon after arriving the camps, the RCS delegation embarked in distribution of high-protein foodstuff and water to spare the lives of hundreds of susceptible children who have been malnourished as a result of drought. The children live in makeshift dwellings under the savannah trees, left vulnerable to sweltering sun-heat during the day and nefarious insects during the night.

"These bare-footed children lack access to basic medical services. Some of them have never taken any medical tests. We lack such basic needs as soaps etc. The only service that we are able to offer is to distribute vitamin to the kids", said Jamheer, a volunteer at the camp. She said the camps are run by 25 women volunteers in Garisa.

Farah Al Mualim, a former MP of the area told the RCS delegation that the situation began to deteriorate as soon as Islamic organisations left in the early 1990s. "With the departure of these organizations, the people lost access to educational and health services. Most of the tribes in the area are pastoralists.

Boarding schools are therefore the answer to education in this area. The government cannot afford all their needs. That is why the government only provides primary and intermediate education freely, while secondary school education is paid for", he said.

The death toll among 3.5 million Kenyans in need of emergency assistance could rise in the coming months unless donations to head off a disaster arrive soon, the UN warns. "These people have run out of water and food. Unless we reach them all very soon they will run out of time," the head of the UN's World Food Programme (WFP) said during a recent visit to the Kenyan-Somali border area. (Emirates News Agency, WAM)


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