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Severe drought and food crisis is affecting millions of people in the horn of Africa majorly Kenya, Somali and South Sudan. Families are suffering and going for days without basic needs. Eating is luxury to them as they can go for days without food.

My recent field visits to assess the drought situation and how it has affected the people we work with in Isiolo County left me baffled. From outside perspective, it’s easy to judge and even feel the crisis from scorch heat to residents cry for humanitarian assistance.

Leparua is dry and windy with only small leaves left at the top of the tall trees. Many dry logs lie across rocky terrain either cut by people for charcoal burning, or brought down by elephants who also want to have their last meal. The situation is wanting with many residents surrendering and leaving it all to God.

Ntale Njala Lekomuiga is a widow, 33years old and a mother of two. Seated under a tree outside his compound, his barking cough can be heard a few meters away. His wet and weak eyes tell it all as she weaves her rope from rugged gunny bags hoping a buyer will pass by and give him hope for one more day. She is too weak to stand and has to use a walking stick to support herself. To her, eating has been a luxury and her condition is worsening as she depends on his 13 years old son who sacrificed school to take care of her.

Ntale weaving her rope made from rugged gunny bags

She has not eaten for the last 36 hours and still has no hope as his son has not been successful in getting casual job which they solely rely on to put food on their table. She has been having a chest problem which has resulted to persisting cough and her hut is almost falling apart.

Ntale was a beneficiary of General Food Distribution which was funded by world Food Programme with ActionAid being the lead agency. Ntale was healthy and strong. She had 3 goats, but when the project stopped in April 2016, Ntale started selling her goats, one by one and using the money to buy food and pay school fees for her daughter. She is now weak and left with nothing. Her heath has been worsening and if immediate intervention is not made, Ntale will be no more.