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Sunday, January 28, 2007

ONE YEAR AFTER THE DEVASTATING DROUGHTS IN MANDERA



Mandera, particularly Mandera East, lies in the tip of Northern Kenya, where Kenya, Ethiopia and Somalia form a border....and has a history of Famine, drought and other natural calamities ...Communities who live here are forgotten people who manouvere through Malnutrition, poverty and Hunger....

Today, It has almost reached a year since the worst droughts in the history of Mandera and here below, we wish to underline the importance of re-arranging our priorities so that we can face some natural calamities planned well ahead...

Here are some excerpts from the previous drought in Mandera....

While Still weak,Qureysha, a somali resident who moved to Arabia, a location just south of
Mandera explains and sums up everything during her torments with droughts...

"There is always God who provides," but without the support of NGO's (Islamic Relief), we……would probably have died."

"The people in this village are weak from drought and hunger, they are in the same state as my family. The situation is very dangerous, people’s hopes are very low because we do not know whether we will get rain or not,”

"We are eating maize or anything that we can get because a poor man has no choice. For water we have to go to the shallow well. We go every morning and I bring back 80 litres per day for drinking, bathing, wudhu and for the family,”

“Our livestock is diminishing everyday. The people’s source of livelihood is the livestock – if they die they have no other survival and the situation will become critical. We need assistance,”Said one resident...

There are million disastrous pictures that speak for themselves on the situation in Mandera and the whole of Horn of Africa....all underlining the importance of finding strategies to help the communities living around these areas.....

"Like The Government of Kenya is waiting for Famine to happen again, to call it a national Disaster...."

Government officials, NGO's and our representatives to the Kenya's National Assembly are supposed to find solutions before they can happen.......or are they waiting this kind of pictures to catching world media headlines before they act...

and when they act..They are always slow...

Education, health and social groups including the many Mandera Women groups, such as the Arabia women groups assesments carried by social groups and researchers, http://www1.umn.edu/humanrts/center/uppermidwest/2004fellowshipreport-osman.html
should be assisted through funds by the Kenyan Government and donor countries to sustain populations.

Reports of vulnerability through food aid and assistance should also be studied such as this one from MSF Spain, http://www.ennonline.net/fex/05/fa10.html and atleast be taken care of to formulate ways of assisting this forgotten people and their miseries...

The President of Kenya, Mr.Kibaki should categorically take responsibility because of alienating people from one corner of the country....we have elected him together with other kenyans to the state house and he should take his work very seriously....(This is why we need democratization in Kenya)....

I am sure the last time Kibaki stepped there was one year ago and as usual, will instruct his various departments, including the military, to undertake emergency relief operations,
and still nothing will happen...(Remember, this is an election year)....The Government of Kenya should think another way of developing the area to sustain communities....instead of sleeping.................

The Livestock Traders and Marketing Society of Kenya (LTMSK) should be made a Governmet private entity where livestock communities can harness export of their livestock to sustain themselves and the economy.

The poorly managed state corporations like The Kenya Meat commision must be re-evaluated to tackle the basic importance of their existence as state corporations...(was this phoney)..
It is supposed to undertake livestock and meat processing from our people but it is located far from the Livestock communities.....The Somalis....

It is worth to note that, during the eve of drought months, The Livestock and Fisheries minister Joseph Munyao said Sh500 million would be used to buy livestock from drought-stricken areas. but still nothing happened.......The government has allowed to be judged this election year

Livestock contributes 10 per cent of the national Gross Domestic Product (GDP).

Corrupt individuals should be apprehended who are plundering state resources that is supposed to reach people....cases of Mis-used CDF should be handled with care as this is a primary source of livelihood for many communities........CDF should also be used to initiate long-term plans to reduce communities vulnerability to droughts by drilling boreholes, reservoirs and education.

Cases like http://www.timesnews.co.ke/15oct06/nwsstory/news5.html should be investigated and corrupt individuals apprehended.

CDF money should be audited by The Kenyan Parliament so that these kind of projects are fulfilled, http://www.cdf.go.ke/mandera_east_project_status_2005-2006.htm to help people from the region.....

There is this report about CDF in Mandera, a while ago and it's disturbing......

In North Eastern Province, projects allocated Sh31 million in Mandera West have not been implemented, while in Mandera Central only five projects out of 20 are ongoing.
Mr Mohammed Abdi Mohammed and Mr Adan Billow Kerrow represent the two constituencies in Parliament.


Yet despite all this crises, including the natural calamities facing our people, our communities are still cling on to hope for the future.

“I want to ask Allah to help us to get out of this problem and, God willing, we will get out of it. “