The long drought continues. At Wamba in Samburu, Northen Kenya,we are now regularly feeding nearly 400 people. They have been divided into 4 groups based on geographical location and each Monday the members of one of the groups are given enough food to last them for the ensuing 4 weeks. The food is costing 28,000 Kenya shillings (£200) per week. That's just over £2 per person per week. These people of the Samburu tribe were traditionally dependent on animals but the cattle and sheep are now all gone, the first victims of drought.
The work at Wamba will be much more than just a feeding programme. The women in these groups are being encouraged to help themselves in the future by growing their own food - copying the Naisula Women's cooperative group who with HIPPO's help have learned how to grow food crops on their 'shamba', selling the surplus to raise funds for their group. Conscious of the risk of creating dependency through the distribution of free food our organiser Priscilla has made them understand that it is temporary until they can grow food for themselves, establishing their own shambas. Not bad for people whom all the big charities constantly say cannot change from their nomadic pastoralist lifestyle!
Not surprisingly word of our help has spread - on the bush telegraph you might say - so that every day Priscilla finds more people waiting outside her house, strangers who have come from a distance to plead for food. Some are very weak from hunger and their long walk and these are getting a cooked meal before they leave with their rations of maize meal, beans and Textured Soya Protein. It is increasing the demand on our funds - but could you send them away hungry?
We want you to realise that many people there would have died during the last two months had it not been for the donations HIPPO has received and translated into food. Only HIPPO is operating there. We count it a God-given privilege to have the chance to save the lives of these people and at the same time to help them towards a more sustainable way of life that is not dependent on animals.
If you have not yet given to our hunger relief fund please send us a contribution - anything you can afford will help. Remember, even £2 will keep one person alive for a week. Why give to organisations that will use your money to replace cattle when the drought ends? We don't know when the drought will end in Samburu but when it does if we have any money left over it will go towards developing sustainable non-animal solutions to that area's problems. HIPPO is financed almost entirely by vegetarians - please forward this appeal to your vegetarian friends. The administration of HIPPO is done voluntarily. 100% of your donation will go to help those people. We may feel hard-pressed in these difficult times but believe me they have nothing.