Kenya Red Cross Society, the implementing agent of the Kenyans for Kenya initiative, presented a review of progress, one year after the close of Kenyans most successful public fundraising to date.
By July 2011, at least 3.75 Million Kenyans in arid and semi-arid lands were threatened with death due to the threat of starvation because of drought. Malnutrition rates in Northern Kenya were at emergency levels with more than 385,000 children below the age of 5 years in 13 districts suffering from acute malnutrition. Furthermore, many schools without school-feeding programmes had been closed.
Other visible indicators included increased livestock deaths and erosion of livelihood and survival options available to the affected pastoralists. The worst affected districts included Wajir, Mandera, Marsabit, Turkana, Moyale, Eastern Samburu, and Northern Isiolo although certain districts in rain dependent Lower Eastern Region such as the northern parts of Mwingi and Kitui districts and the Coastal Region, which had also sank into the emergency phase classification of food insecurity. Further, at least 20 people were reported to have lost their lives as a result of drought-related effects. It was at this point that the Government declared drought a National Disaster.
It is with the above context that the Kenya Red Cross Society (KRCS) began preparing for humanitarian response that would include both short-term and mid to long-term interventions. The Society, in collaboration with the Safaricom Foundation, the Kenya Commercial Bank Foundation, Media Owners Association and Gina Din Communications came up with an innovative way of saving lives, the first one of its kind, seeking to lobby individual Kenyans and local corporate organisations to contribute towards reversing the fate of the drought-affected Kenyans and restoring the dignity of people who had been threatened by a worsening drought situation, described as the worst ever drought to affect the Horn of Africa, in the last 60 years.
Its aim was to save lives and restore the dignity of the people of Kenya who had been threatened by a worsening drought situation. The Kenyans for Kenya initiative was officially launched on Wednesday 27th July 2011, and in a period of four weeks, more than Ksh1 billion (id="mce_marker"0.5 USD) had been contributed both in cash and kind. The money, thus, enabled KRCS to respond to the immediate humanitarian aid in the worst affected areas and to start preparing for the mid to long-term interventions. See full document.