Cash grant, food provide relief to family

Kenya, October 10, 2011

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  <span class="field-credit">
    Muna Ahmed/Mercy Corps  </span>
    Sangaba Abdi Gullet lost nearly her entire herd of 200 camels and goats. She and her family then made a 300-kilometer trek for food and water. Photo: Muna Ahmed/Mercy Corps

I met Sangaba Abdi Gullet at Barmil during our cash distribution activities. She looked more distressed than the rest of the beneficiaries. From her face, we could tell she’d been through very tough times.

“Previously my family had 80 camels and 120 goats,” explained Sangaba, who arrived with five grandchildren — all but one under the age of 5. “All that is remaining now are two weak camels.”

Sangaba teared up as she narrated her 300-kilometer journey here from Biyamathow. Her camels grew too weak to carry the grandchildren; at various points her grandchildren were too weak to walk. “When they had no energy, I had to carry them on my back,” she explained.

Two of her grandchildren qualify as moderately malnourished, so they now regularly receive from Mercy Corps a healthy blend of soy flour and cornmeal mixed with vegetable oil. Sangaba said this nutritious mix is divvied up and consumed by all the family members — including the two camels.

In addition to the nutrition supplements, Sangaba received $30 from Mercy Corps as part of our cash assistance program to families hardest-hit by the drought. “This money will be so helpful to me and my five grand children, I will be able to provide three meals a day to my children.”