Quick thoughts from our emergency team leader in Kenya

Kenya, July 28, 2011

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Our emergency response teams across the Horn of Africa — in Ethiopia, Somalia and Kenya — are working hard, long hours every day to assess needs and speed relief to hungry and struggling families. Often, our staff is traveling in remote areas, out of the range of any communications at all.

But occasionally we're able to reach them by phone to get a quick update about what they're doing and seeing. Here are some rapid thoughts from our team leader in northeastern Kenya.

  • Lots of movement on the Somalia border. We see women and children. The men have left.
  • Food is available in the markets, but families have no money to purchase it.
  • There's concentration of settlements for drought-displaced families along the road.
  • Water storage is broken or poorly managed.
  • Malnutrition rates are skyrocketing.
  • In two weeks, we may be seeing a lot of people dying.
  • Many people have lost at least half their livestock.
  • We are headed to a town south of here where people have reportedly not had water for three days.
  • People are moving so fast that the problem is that, by the time we mobilize assistance, they may have moved.
  • Ramadan is coming in just a few days, and the needs will be high.
  • Food issues are most critical with the most vulnerable populations: women, children and the elderly.

The situation on the ground is dire. You can hear the exhaustion and urgency in the voices of our emergency team members. They need your help — anything you can give will help us do more.

We'll stay on the lines and bring you more updates as we receive them.