September 3, 2009

Kenya: a long road to reconciliation

By |3 September 2009|

The crisis in Kenya in 2008 was triggered by the alleged rigging of the December 2007 preside ntial election — setting various ethnic groups against each other. What began as political violence, quickly became ethnic. By 21st January 2007, “ethnic cleansing” had resulted in displacement of more than 300,000 people of all walks of life from diverse ethnicities into camps and with host families. The crisis had the underlying deep seated issues that have roots in the historical inequalities and injustices between ethnic groups in Kenya. Reconciliation is far from achieved. At the end of the year, still over a hundred thousand people living in camps, transit centres, or hosted by families. While some families are afraid of being driven away again by angry neighbors, other displaced people have different reasons for not returning home. Some are waiting until they receive the full amount of resettlement funds promised by the Kenyan government. Others who were previously [...]

Kenya crisis: past, present and future

By |3 September 2009|

In the course of his day’s work last week Stephen Kituku saw hungry children with swollen stomachs, dead animals on roadsides and met families who were surviving on one meal a day. He's the National Emergency Officer for Caritas Kenya. That was one day, it’s probably safe to say that what he sees over the next few months will be much, much worse. Up to 10 million people in Kenya are estimated to be at risk of acute hunger. This current food crisis comes just three years after 3.5 million Kenyans went hungry after a succession of poor rains limited the country’s food production. “It’s almost as though people forget to think about food security once a crisis is over,” says Mr Kituku. “Kenya relies heavily on rain-fed agriculture so it’s vital we implement long-term projects to ensure that there’s enough water for crops and to teach people about conserving what they harvest.” The [...]

August 16, 2008

Hunger and HIV

By |16 August 2008|

"People know that HIV will kill them within months, but hunger might kill them by the end of the week," said Dr John Mundi Amolo as he makes his tour of the HIV and AIDS patients admitted to Mutomo Hospital in Kenya. "If someone has only 50 bob [35 pence], then they would rather buy food than get drugs for their HIV. They have no choice." Mutomo Hospital is in the Kitui district, which has been hit hard by years of drought. Rivers have dried up, crops destroyed, and the people worn down by hunger. Among the most affected have been those with HIV and AIDS. Although life-saving drugs are cheap and available, the small food and medical costs necessary to be able to take them are often too much. "The anti-AIDS drugs don't work well without good nutrition," said the doctor. "People have not been eating day after day. Taking [...]

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