Mission:1 gifts bring relief
December 16, 2011
Millions of people continue to feel the effects of a
historic drought in Ethiopia, Kenya and Somalia. October and November rains
have allowed some farming communities to plant their fields in anticipation of
a harvest in January or February. Other areas are still dry, leaving nearly 10
million people in need of food assistance, according to the World Food Program.
Famine and near-famine conditions continue in southern Somalia.
While the rains have helped, they have also caused numerous
problems. Flooding has struck refugee camps in Kenya and Ethiopia and hindered
road access to areas of Somalia. Many communities will need food assistance
until the harvest and potentially beyond. Livestock has been devastated by the
drought and will require several rainy seasons to recover.
The United Church of Christ, assisted by gifts to Mission:
1, is supporting the response of Church World Service (CWS) to provide
emergency food and distribute it to the people who need it most in Kenya's
Eastern Province. In Mwingi and Nzambani districts, CWS is continuing to
provide monthly rations of corn, beans, salt and cooking oil to more than 1,060
households. An effort is also underway to encourage the local communities to
conserve topsoil and water, such as through the construction of sand dams and
the planting of 2,400 tree seedlings in Nzambani.
Another 2,700 households were provided with seeds for crops
such as maize, cowpeas, beans and sorghum, which are now growing.
CWS continues its "Water for Life" program to
develop water sources in drought-affected areas of Kenya's Rift Valley and
Eastern provinces. Through the program this year, CWS constructed four
6,000-liter water storage tanks for schools in Mwingi and Nzambani.
Through the ACT Alliance, the UCC is supporting partner
organizations in providing food, water and other emergency aid in Ethiopia,
Somalia and Somali refugee camps in Kenya.
Rev. Nicta M. Lubaale, General Secretary of the Organization
of African Instituted Churches, a Global Ministries partner in Kenya writes, “We
have already identified the communities to start with and seeds will be
distributed to several areas in West Pokot. Some food will be distributed in
Isiolo as we also work towards mobilizing the communities in this area to
consider farming. We are targeting areas which are in a state of perennial
Mission: 1 efforts of
the United Church of Christ raised more than $111,111, the stated goal to
continue responding to the drought-stricken areas in the Horn of Africa.
Additionally, the Mission: 1 letter writing campaign has
made a tremendous difference to the international policies allocating funds for
foreign aid. Instead of the expected elimination of programs or significant
cuts, the US Government cut foreign aid only by $100,000 according to our
partners at Bread for the World in Washington, DC.
All UCC partners have expressed appreciation for our
solidarity. Donna Derr, CWS Director for
Development and Humanitarian Assistance, and herself a member of the UCC, is
grateful for the UCC “always being such a supportive partner.”