High levels of food insecurity, reduced pasture and water, limited fodder available and increased workloads for children and women are taking an immense toll on the local population. In fact, malnutrition is currently the biggest cause of death amongst children under the age of five – 369,000 of which suffer from acute malnutrition.
For people across Kenya, life is incredibly challenging:
- 11% of the population are unemployed (ILO, 2017)
- 1 in 20 children do not reach their 5th birthday (World Bank/UNICEF, 2016-17)
- 1 in 3 children suffer from stunting (UNICEF, 2013)
- Over 20% of adults are illiterate (UNESCO, 2014)
Islamic Relief in Kenya
Islamic Relief has been working in Kenya since 1993, supporting orphans through the orphan sponsorship program to provide many of Kenya’s children with opportunities for a brighter future.
During the food crisis in 2011 in East Africa, we responded through the provision of clean water and food as well as providing essential medical support.
Due to climate chage, droughts are becoming increasingly common. Islamic Relief is helping families to reduce the risk of a drought through livelihoods which can survive a lack of water, offering a long-term solution to hunger in the face of drought:
New crops – most farmers are pastoralists, relying on animals, which cannot survive without water. We will help them to plant crops and vegetables which can survive droughts.
New greenhouses – greenhouses are perfect for growing vegetables in areas without rivers, where water comes from wells and can be transported to the greenhouse. Not only will this help feed Kenyan families, but the surplus vegetables can be sold at the market as a source of income
Protecting livestock from disease – we will vaccinate 360,000 animals against diseases which break out when drought or floods weaken their immune systems, helping them survive future disasters, and help farmers monitor their livestock for illness
New jobs – farming is not the only way to make a living in Kenya – crafts and other items can be produced to sell at the market. These businesses don’t rely on rainfall to survive, so are perfect for drought-stricken Kenya; we will train women and young people in these skills and give them financial support to kick-start their new businesses.