Thousands Dying in Kenya Famine

Once again drought threatens the lives of two and a half million Kenyans.

Government figures estimate that 17 people are dying every day. The most vulnerable are children and the elderly. Eighty percent of the livestock in the northern and eastern regions have died because there has been no food, water, or grass for the animals.

In his New Year's speech to the nation, Kenyan President Mwai Kibaki declared a state of national disaster in areas of the country hit by severe shortages of food and water, following a prolonged drought. He said, "In the next six months, up to 2.5 million of our people will be in need of famine relief."

He also appealed for donations to alleviate the plight of those affected. Sylvester O'kango, leader of Kenya Evangelism Team (KET), pleads for help from fellow believers. "The nearest place to us is Pokot, where over 30,000 people are affected. Pokot is not far from our headquarters, and many are migrating here to get food. They have no shelter here and many are stealing just to eat."

Inflation continues rampant in Kenya, where the cost of a sack of corn ($30) or beans ($45) has doubled, costing more than the average Kenyan earns per month.

An open door to an unreached people group

The people in Pokot are very resistant to the gospel. KET has targeted this people group, and is praying that this disaster will be an open door for the gospel. Though poor themselves, churches planted by KET are all "contributing even the small fraction of support we may have, so that we may be able to contribute towards our fellow country people, who are dying because of famine."

In fact, most of the severely affected areas are home to unreached people groups, making this a golden opportunity for missions.

Readers interested in supporting the ministry may visit www.christianaid.org, using the gift code 572KET. For questions, email Africa@christianaid.org, or call 1-800-977-5650 and ask for the Africa division.

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