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How your donations saved lives in Marsabit County, Kenya

In early January 2017, the situation in Marsabit County, Kenya had severely deteriorated with alarming reports of people starving and in urgent need. Across the region, the number of people who didn’t have sufficient access to food more than doubled, from 1.3 million to 2.6 million, and the government declared a national drought disaster. Concern, along with partners, immediately responded to the emergency, delivering aid to stop the escalating situation.

The situation in Kenya

In the village of Illeret where Concern works, we found an alarmingly high level of malnutrition (a rate of 57.5%). As a result of the drought and water shortages, trade and supplies sharply declined contributing to the rising levels of hunger and malnutrition. Using money raised by the Disaster Emergency Committee (DEC) East Africa appeal we scaled up our response to tackle the crisis.

How UK aid was used to help

Concern’s work in the area included raising awareness of the nutritional needs of children and pregnant and breastfeeding women. We also recruited and trained a local workforce to deliver the regular feeding programmes and medical support for the children that were now starving and severely malnourished. By the end of September, 15,084 children under five and 2,692 pregnant and breastfeeding women had been supported.

This is Yara, a 14-month old pictured with his five-year-old sister. He has made a remarkable recovery after receiving treatment from the local centre in the North Horr Sub-County. He was admitted to the medical centre when he was suffering from diarrhoea and a severe cough which had made him very weak. Because he was so ill, the first stage of treatment was very intensive but he responded well and recovered enough to move onto a less-rigorous regular feeding programme. He has a very high chance of being discharged back to the community.

His father said, “My son’s health had deteriorated. We are very happy that the boy has improved tremendously thanks to the treatment he received at the hospital in North Horr. I was very happy because the doctors monitored him frequently and this gave me joy.”

Robe Tune, a nutritionist with the Ministry of Health described how Yara’s experience is sadly not uncommon. She said, “many children find themselves in these situations due to lack of adequate food therefore there is need for intense food and nutritional interventions being implemented by Concern and other partners”.

Why aid matters

The drought in Kenya’s dry lands plagued already vulnerable communities and exposed them to the deadly threat of hunger and malnutrition. Without UK Aid and interventions from emergency response agencies like Concern, reaching those in need would be impossible. The UK public and Concern supporters make programmes like the ones in Kenya possible, ensuring that those most at risk of hunger get the support they need. 

Thank you.