Reports from Fr Conway at Barpello And Fr McGovern from Rotu.
On 2 April Fr Conway reported in response to my query whether further food aid was needed:- “Yes: we are in need at this time. Food security is still a very real issue.
The lives of the pastoralist, semi-nomadic Pokot people who live in this hostile area continues to be ravaged by drought and famine. I write outlining the current situation of drought & famine in the sub-county of East Pokot, (Tiaty Constituency). The situation has deteriorated in spite of donors and people of good will, who have responded to appeals for assistance in this Humanitarian Crisis.
The Pokot people are experiencing another of the worst droughts in memory. According to the National Drought Management
Authority (NDMA), people are experiencing real hardship and severe hunger, many have had to resort to eating their animals which have died in this drought.
The near depleted Pokot economy due to the current situation may take years to recover.
The pastoralist Pokot have experienced a huge reduction in their animal numbers due to the current and earlier droughts. The elderly and young have been left behind in the villages as the men and youth have gone with their animals to search for pasture. This leaves the elderly and children in a very vulnerable situation with diminishing resources.
We used to comment in writing about past projects that their animals were the back-bone of the Pokot economy. However with your help, among others, we have proved that the Educated Child and Youth are the present and future back-bone of the Pokot economy.
Education will eventually eradicate poverty, but for now food security for the people is urgent.
Thanks to the Pound a Week Group for your ongoing support. David”
Fr Sean McGovern’s reported:-
“ The Pound a Week Group week has done more than the call of duty.
However, if funds were available there is no doubt that this would help alleviate the widespread hunger throughout Pokot at this time. The rains have refused to come to Rotu and the Turkana side of Pokot. I hear reports of some showers, indeed heavy showers, along the Kerio valley. But nothing in Rotu since November. People are preparing their gardens in the hope of being able to plant food crops. One wonders is it in vain. Twenty seven of the days of March were over 40 C. Yesterday 42C+!! A little relief today at 39.7C but every little helps.
No one has died in Rotu primarily, I have little doubt, because I am able to give food to so many people daily. The Breakfast for children, funded mainly by your Group donations, remains the greatest Godsend.
God bless Seán”
The Good News
Tomorrow the Diocesan Finance Office will transfer £5,300 from the Pound a Week Group funds to Fr Conway to share equally with Fr Sean to purchase further emergency food supplies.
Thank you all for your continuing and most generous support for the Pokot Missionary projects.
Eugene 3 March 2019