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Bringing hope to drought survivors in Kenya

19 June 2018

Trócaire supporters are helping to bring hope to survivors of drought in Kenya, where we have provided emergency aid to over 27,000 people.

Kenyan drought

Esther Chegem and son in Central Turkana, Kenya where Trócaire responded to the drought, distributing food packages through the Diocese of Lodwar. Photo: Aidan O'Neill.

Kenyans have survived through two years of failed rains. It is the worst crisis the country has faced since 2011.

Thankfully, since mid-February 2018, the weather has started to improve. Some rains have arrived early to the drought affected regions of Kenya, bringing hope to people. This has improved access to water for both livestock and for human consumption. 

But it will still take longer before the crisis ends. As a result of two years' of drought, 3.4 million people are in need of food aid. 

Thanks to the support of the Irish public, Trócaire's has been able to respond to the crisis, providing water, food and cash.

In recent months this has included:

  • Food support in primary schools to 6,375 boys and 6,513 girls.
  • Food support and vouchers for 3,875 women and 2,497 men.
  • Six schools given 10,000 litre water reservoirs.
  • Rain water harvesting installed for 1,112 households. 

Turkana, one of the driest and poorest regions in Kenya has been at the centre of the drought. This drought has killed millions of the livestock that people depend on for their survival. 

Trócaire has been distributing food aid and cash transfers in Turkana through the Diocese of Lodwar. In the absence of any significant government services, the Diocese is the main provider of support for people.


 Elizabeth Egelan from St. Denis area in Kataboi, Turkana central is one of the individuals who received food packages in Turkana, Kenya.

Elizabeth Egelan, Turkana, Kenya. Photo: Aidan O'Neill.

Elizabeth lives close to Lake Turkana. Elizabeth is a widow who lives alone, she is dependent on selling charcoal. She also makes mats which gives her some income to buy food. She has received food packages containing maize, beans and oil, which will last her for two months. 

Nakuruka Naleng’o, Turkana, Kenya.

Nakuruka Naleng’o, Turkana, Kenya. Photo: Aidan O'Neill.

Nakuruka is an elderly widow. Despite nearby Lake Turkana being a rich source of fish, she cannot afford to buy any. The food packages she received from the Diocese of Lodwar have been vital for her to survive.

Ebongo Kokiro is one of the individuals who will receive cash provided for through a cash transfer project implemented by the Diocese of Lodwar and supported by Trócaire Kenya.

Ebongo Kokiro, Turkana, Kenya. Photo: Aidan O'Neill.

Ebongo had all his livestock stolen by raiders. Without his livestock he has had no way to provide for himself. He is from one of the 800 households in Turkana targeted with cash transfers. He told us that previous cash support he received was crucial for his survival.

Esther Ateli Nasipan received cash transfers from Trócaire to help her through the drought.

Esther Ateli Nasipan received cash transfers from Trócaire to help her through the drought. Photo: Aidan O'Neill.

Esther Ateli is a 60 year old woman, who has also received cash transfers. She lost her sole surviving daughter and granddaughter to drought and illness. Ateli now lives alone and has to fend for herself, as an elderly person with no means of livelihood. She says she prefers cash instead of food support. As an elderly person she needs to buy food that is appropriate for her needs.

Tony Woods, an Irish native, Chancellor of the Diocese of Lodwar.

Tony Woods, an Irish native, Chancellor of the Diocese of Lodwar. Photo: David O'Hare/Trócaire.

Limerick man Tony Woods is the Chancellor of the Diocese of Lodwar. He told us: “Trócaire is the conduit between the people of Ireland and those in need in the developing world. The money donated at home in Ireland is crucial. Donate to Trócaire and together we will save lives.”

Asked how he keeps going in such difficult circumstances Tony has a simple answer. “It is the people around me that inspire me. Wonderful people that deserve a life of dignity.”

This crisis is set to continue, but thanks to Trócaire’s supporters, some hope is being provided to these communities in Kenya.