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KENYA: Charity helps herders

19/09/2011 by Alan Cole in the UK

ADRA brings hope to remote Kenyan herding community

Adventist charity ADRA is launching a humanitarian mission to support rural pastoralists in a remote corner of Kenya.

The Seventh-day Adventist Church charity works to tackle poverty and deprivation worldwide, as well as providing humanitarian aid to disaster situations.

The charity is sending aid and workers to Mandera, an out-of-the-way region of North Eastern Kenya.

The charity says the region is being overlooked in the context of the wider humanitarian efforts in East Africa.

ADRA in an issued statement has described the area as the forgotten region in terms of the East African drought crisis.

The region is suffering because pastoral herders have incurred substantial losses to their livestock, which they rely upon to survive.

Subsequently, as the drought continues increasing numbers of people are in need of urgent help.

ADRA (the Adventist Development and Relief Agency) says it has identified the area of Wal Tak to be in urgent need of help.

Many herders have lost up to 90 per cent of their livestock.

The Mandera region is one that has been long prone to drought. Since 2005 the region has suffered severe drought.

And to give an idea of how severe the drought has become - it has not rained there since 2009.

Mandera is close to the border of Somalia and Ethiopia and many of its inhabitants are ethnic Somalis.

Many herders have been heading for El Wak to escape drought elsewhere and find food to live.

However, the situation in El Wak is becoming increasingly desperate too and hence the concern that a genuine crisis is emerging.

The region is also dangerous due to on-going conflict between Somalia Transitional Federal Government military and Islamist militants.

At least eleven people have died in border clashes in the region between Al-Shabaab militia and Transitional Federal Parliament forces in the last month, according to local news sources.

About one third of the population of Mandera is suffering from malnutrition and two thirds are classed as in poverty.

ADRA is planning a six month long campaign to make an impact on the situation.

First off is to get emergency food supplies to those that need it most.

ADRA says special attention is being given to mothers with children under five years old and a nutritious food package is being prepared.

Corn Soy Blend is a fortified food blend created to a special nutritional formula, including the addition of supplementary minerals and proteins.

As well as providing emergency food aid ADRA says it also wants to extend its support in other ways for those in need in the region.

The charity plans to develop provision for health care and other individually tailored community programmes.

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Written and edited in London and Geneva All Xperedon news articles are original and are written by the Xperedon news team. The team is headed in the UK by Alan Cole, an experienced award-winning journalist and copywriter. Alan has previously worked in-house for UK publishers, Pearson Media (Financial Times) and Northcliffe Newspapers, among others, and is an accredited member of the National Union of Journalists, UK.

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