Prolonged Drought and Famine.
Today, I have just arrived back from Claude Academy; Claude Academy is a Holy Ghost Primary School which falls under the administration of Barpello High School. It is a mixed day primary and nursery school with 296 pupils. The boy/girl ratio is 55% girls and 45% boys. Girls are getting a chance that they would normally not get.
The temperature from Chemolingot back to Barpello is 45C outside and 35C in the shade. There is dust everywhere. Everything of metal substance is untouchable because of the heat, the seat of the car would give you third degree burns, making it uncomfortable to sit for a week.
This year has had the most severe drought in the history of the Pokot. We thought that about three weeks ago that the rains had come after we received five days with heavy showers, since then we are back to intense heat and dust with no vegetation for animals. Many people come to the mission and to the High School in search of food and to meet with people of good will. The situation of severe hunger still persists; old people have died along with their animals.
This year with a severe drought and crops failing throughout the country and including East Pokot at this time spells a further disaster for the coming year. The short rains have failed and we don’t expect rains until March/April 2015. (If they come)?
The whole economy of East Pokot has been affected. This is a Pastoralist Community and have suffered great losses in their animals which are the back-bone of this economy.
Education has suffered greatly, parents are, and were, unable to pay fees. This has affected the future of education, teachers have to be paid and food bought, resources are diminishing rapidly.
Restocking of goats cannot happen yet due to this present drought, but in time it will be essential as part of drought recovery.
This ends my update:
I wish to thank all of you who have been so generous, please don’t be annoyed if we are forced to come to you again.