Due to rack of enough rainfall in our country, most parts of Kenya where maize is grown did not get good harvest. This has led to maize scarcity in the country. The Favic Millers who has been donating 180kg of maize flour (posho meal) per month has been hit so hard by this, that they have lacked maize for milling. So due to lack of stock, from mid- October the Favic Millers company has not been able to donate to AMCC the amount of posho meal which they were donating, of which nobody knows for how long this will continue. All this is caused by inflation and high cost of commodities in our nation. This has affected the AMCC so much and we are feeling the pinch in that the children are taking only one type of food for lunch and supper every day, that is, githeri (a mixture of maize (corns) and beans), and they are almost to be going to school without taking breakfast because the very little amount of posho meal for porridge that we have cannot take us far.
The amount of cabbages that the children has been taking since early September and being donated by councilor Paul Ndung’u, Rev. John’s brother has helped us so much and it got finished on Monday 30th October 2011. Since early September to 31st October 2011 the children had been very happy and enjoying taking food fried with cabbages everyday, lunch and supper. From Tuesday 1st November 2011 they are taking githeri plain not unless well wishers donate something else to us for an alternative.
FOOD CRISIS IN KENYA
Prices of basic staple foodstuff like maize flour, rice and sugar have gone through the roof, making it impossible for many families to manage even a single meal a day. The rise in the prices of food and fuel has pushed the inflation up for 11 months in a row to settle at about 18.91 per cent last month.
KENYANS BECOMING POORER
Almost half of the population is poor with 20% deprived totally of a decent living. Many people have just slipped another rung down on the social ladder as the cost of living in Kenya continues to rise. The doubling of the cost of cooking gas among other commodities in the last few months sent the many to resort to charcoal for fuel. They are not happy with the direction their lives are taking and are not satisfied with their lives. Only about 4 out 10 Kenyans are satisfied with their lives. Kenya, according to the new global human development index is ranked 143 out of 187 countries.
This is according to United Nation Human Development 2011 report “Sustainability and Equity”. A better future for all, argues that, living standards in most countries has been rising in recent decades but forecasts disturbing trends if environmental and social inequalities continue to intensify. Most people using dirty cooking fuel (dung, wood or charcoal) includes almost 20 million Kenyans who cannot afford modern fuels. The human Development index measures whether a country is able to provide it’s people with requirements which would enable them live a long and healthy life, access knowledge and experience of standard of living.
According to the report, many Kenyans are not meeting all or several of basic life requirements with only 4% having access to post secondary education and life expectancy standing at about 57 years compared to 83 years in Japan. Almost half of the Kenyans are indicated to be poor with about 20% totally deprived of means to a decent living. This affects charitable organization like AMCC in that, when the Kenyans are poor, they have nothing to donate to the orphanage to enable it to continue caring for orphans and at risk-children.
ORPHANS, VULNERABLE CHILDREN AND WIDOWS HIT BY HIGH FOOD PRICES
Food prices continue to remain high, negatively affecting the world’s poorest that is, Orphans and at-risk children. According to the new World Bank Report, food price watch, stated that volatile food prices, in addition to the devastating floods in Thailand and the on going food crisis in Kenya will aggravate the already worsening situation. Global food prices remain high. Kenya’s food case has been graded by the World Bank humanitarian disaster phase. Prices of basics such as cooking oil, flour gas and kerosene have sky rocked, signaling bad times for low income families and charitable organizations like AMCC that have found it difficult to put a plate of ugali on the table, when sugar, wheat flour, maize (corn) grain and flour, beans and bread prices are also high. The crisis in Kenya and the horn of Africa is not over and touches more than 3 million orphans and at risk children who are the poorest people of the world.
Globally, the World Bank says, food prices have remained high and volatile, by hitting the poorest countries hard. The World Bank, food price index remains 19% about it –September 2010 levels. The prices remain volatile and millions of Kenyans apart from orphans, at-risk children and widows are suffering.
And with the Kenyan military fighting the Al-Shabaab militants and terrorists the food crisis might go up again due to this unforeseen and un fore planned war of which Kenya had to be involved to defend its territorial integrity. The effect may not be felt now but it will surely be there.
There are other factors that may cause this crisis to continue, include the invasion of the Mwea Rice irrigation Scheme by a swarm of birds. These birds are destroying rice that is due for harvesting. The vocarious birds are mostly feeding on rice paddies which may cause the harvest to be poor.
Also climatic change, expensive inputs and inadequate supply of maize seed have a drop on maize production. The falling yields have seen prices rise sharply in the country. There is also the factor of sub-division of land into small uneconomical portions due to population pressure, expensive inputs and poor prices for producers in Trans Nzoia County and other places both in Rift Valley and Western which has been the leading producers of maize (corn), Kenya’s staple food. Trans Nzoia is the most densely populated county in the Rift Valley with 328 people per square kilometer. The land sizes are becoming smaller and smaller as he population grows compromising production. Therefore the food crisis in Kenya may not end soon.
With the aforementioned ,AMCC is affected very much in that, we depend on well wishers and donors, and when the prices skyrocket the donations do not increase but remains stagnant. The other way that it affects AMCC is that the Kenyan community may never have enough to feed themselves and donate to AMCC. The third way that AMCC is affected is that some of our Kenyan donors like Favic Millers run out of stock and halt their milling operations, and therefore they have nothing to donate. Let us all continue in prayer, Faith and hope that God will intervene and provide continually for A.M.C.C
KENYA AT WAR WITH SOMALIA
A 28 year old man arraigned in court in connection with an arms cache found in a house in Nairobi’s Kayole Estate has confessed to be a member of Somalia terror group Al-Shabab. The suspect said he was a trained A-Shabaab member, though he would not the media details.
His job in Al-Shabaab, he said, was to store firearms and hand them over when they were required. The two grenades, which had been used at a bar on the city’s mfangano Lane and at the OTC bus stage, were from his store, he claimed. (Daily Nation, Thursday October 27, 2011).
In a joint communiqué issued in Nairobi by Prime minister Raila Odinga and his Somalia counterpart Abdiweli Mohamed Ali said the Transitional Federal Government (T.F.G) OF Somalia had given Kenya permission to pursue the militants, but hand over the liberated areas to the local administration. Mr. Ali was in the country to clarify reports by Somalia president Sheikh Sharif Ahmed questioning Kenyan’s military intervention. He said that T. F. G was united and that it supported the operation “I came with the blessing of the president. We will work with the Kenya government. There’s no discord (Somalia PM Abdiweli Mohamed Ali).
The join-statement said the security operation in Somalia was aimed at eliminating the threat posed by Al- Shabaab to Kenya’s national security and economic well being “and is based on the legitimate right to self-defense under article 51 of the UN Charter. The countries said Al-Qaenda link group was a common enemy for the region and the world. The Somali Government supports the activities of the Kenyan forces, which are being fully coordinated by the T.F.G of Somalia and being carried out in the spirit of good neighborliness and African Union (Daily Nation, Tuesday November 1, 2011 page 1 and 4).
Mr. Ali said Kenya and Somalia need a common strategy to fight terrorist groups and that they should have unity of purpose (Daily Nation, Tuesday November 1, 2011, page 4) Let us all continue praying in faith for the two countries that the war may end up quickly, successively and that the people may live in peace.