Tuesday, September 19, 2006



Three years of failed rains led to severe drought across the Horn of Africa, creating food shortages for up to 15 million people. The pastoralists who live across northern Kenya, south-eastern Ethiopia and southern Somalia are the worst-affected people.

Islamic Relief (IR) is working to help the drought-stricken people of the Arabia, Libehiya, Hareeri, sala, Fino, Bambo, Gari and Lafey areas of Mandera region of Kenya, and in the Somali region of Ethiopia.

Despite the rains in May, clean drinking water remains scarce. The rains were patchy and not enough to last until the next ones are due. Although pasture for the animals has increased in places, it is still too scarce to benefit all of them.

The rains were a mixed blessing. Although they interrupted the dry period, over 20 people died in Mandera from an outbreak of dysentery. The rainwater has also flushed animal carcasses and sewage into water sources, contaminating them with lethal diseases.


Malnutrition rates across the region remain high, especially amongst young children, the elderly and pregnant and nursing mothers. Cases of diarrhoea are on the increase, threatening the lives of already malnourished people.


The drought-affected pastoralists are dependent upon their animals for their livelihoods. These animals are also their savings – they sell one whenever they need money. However, the drought has killed off thousands of livestock – up to 70% in some regions, leaving people almost destitute.

Surviving animals are half-starved and weak with little or no market value. Milk yields from the animals, a staple part of the daily diet, are also low, contributing to malnutrition.

The prices of staple foods in the markets remain high because of the continuing effects of drought. They are simply too expensive for most impoverished families to afford.

Without immediate intervention it is feared this crisis could escalate, claiming hundreds of thousands of lives. Islamic Relief is working urgently alongside other humanitarian agencies to prevent this disaster.

Islamic Relief Response, Mandera District, Kenya

Food & Nutrition

IR has distributed around 30 tonnes of nutritional ‘Unimix’ food so far.

7 Supplementary Feeding Centres established, helping over 5,000 children, the elderly and expectant/nursing mothers who receive weekly nutritional support to prevent severe malnutrition.

Food rations continue to be provided to 5,000 families. Each ration consists of cornmeal, beans, salt, sugar & cooking oil.

Food distributions have taken place in 23 locations in 7 divisions


Health Screening of thousands of children under five to monitor and prevent malnutrition is continuing.

A transport service staffed by a nurse is transporting severely malnourished children and their families to the District Hospital.

A Community Health Education programme provides hygiene and sanitation education to mothers & their families to tackle an outbreak of dysentery and other water-borne diseases. To date, the team has reached over 350 families and plan to expand the service.


14,000 litres of water provided every other day in 2 locations to approx. 4,000 people whose water sources have been contaminated.

Fino borehole has been rehabilitated providing clean and safe drinking water for about 10,000 people.

Rehabilitations at Lafey and Arabia water sources are underway, and three more are planned.

A local 15-member community committee is being trained to manage the site & educate others regarding sanitation and hygiene.


Therapeutic Centres are planned for malnourished children & their families................
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