Kenyan Bishops are appealing to the government to declare the current drought a national disaster in order to beckon the International Community to step forward and support the many Kenyans suffering and dying of hunger in many parts of the Country.
Addressing the media at Waumini House Nairobi, on 7 February 2015, Kenya Conference of Catholic Bishops (KCCB) Chairman, Bishop Philip Anyolo said that, reports from the dioceses and parishes indicate tales of suffering, desperation, hopelessness and in some cases, imminent loss of life.
The Bishops are also appealing to Christians and people of good will to join hands in solidarity with the Church by contributing funds, food and essential items to save lives of those affected.
According to a government agency report, the number of Kenyans in need of relief food has risen to 2.7 million from 1.3 million last year. The most affected area are nine arid counties namely: Turkana, Marsabit, Samburu, Tana River, Isiolo, Mandera, Garissa, Wajir and Baringo.
(Rose Achiego in Nairobi)
Below is the full statement
STATEMENT FROM THE KENYA CONFERENCE OF CATHOLIC BISHOPS (KCCB) ON THE CURRENT DROUGHT SITUATION IN KENYA
Behold I am with you always (Matthew 28:20)
“A generous person will be blessed, for he gives some of his food to the poor.” (Proverbs 22:9)
We, the Catholic Bishops of Kenya, your Shepherds, are cognizant to the fact that our country Kenya is facing severe food, water and pasture shortage in many parts of the country. Despite this challenging moment, we come to you with a word of hope and encouragement, God is with us, as Christ promised, “I am with you always” (Matthew 28:20). Therefore, none of us should despair! The total number of people needing help is about 2.4 million.
We have been closely monitoring the current drought situation in the Country and reports from our Dioceses and Parishes indicate tales of suffering, desperation, hopelessness and in some cases, imminent loss of life.
Even though the Kenyan Government, Kenya Red Cross and other philanthropic groups have made varied interventions, these remain inadequate because the number of families affected is huge.
We are in a state of hunger, a looming disaster
We hasten to appeal to the Government to declare the current drought a national disaster in order to beckon the International Community to step forward and support the many Kenyans who are suffering from this predicament.
Furthermore, we, the Catholic Bishops, encourage all partners to continue their good work in responding to the crisis and urge the private sector to get more involved in these efforts.
Finally, we call upon our Christians, all people of good will, the Caritas family and other Church partners to respond to our Local Emergency Appeal and support us to reach out to the communities that are drastically affected by this drought.
We are appealing to all Christians and people of good will to join hands in solidarity with the Church by contributing funds, food and non-food items to save lives of those affected.
Food and non-food donations can be channelled through our parishes, diocesan and national offices and other Church Institutions. Caritas Kenya -the development and humanitarian arm of the Catholic Church, will coordinate this initiative.
The funds collected will help the Church respond to an emergency situation through relief to assist the affected communities through provision of urgent basic needs.
We thank you for your steadfast support and urge you to stand by us as we rise to this challenge.
Rt. Rev. Philip Anyolo
Signed: 7 February, 2017
Bishop of Homa Bay and Chairman of KCCB