Pressing Issue: Locust Invasion in Kenya

June 22, 2020

 

 

On top of the COVID-19 pandemic raiding villages in Kenya, the country was faced with a recent locust invasion (billions of locusts!) in pastoralist communities in Kenya. It was the

largest invasion in 70 years, leaving many families in great need of food.

 

The World Bank warns that regional locust swarms could swell current numbers 400-fold by June, causing livestock-related costs and damages of $8.5 billion by the end of the year. One swarm occupied an area of sky more than three times the size of New York City. Crops have been destroyed and the harvest season threatens families with food insecurity.

 

So far, Pastoralist Child Foundation (PCF) has reached 16 villages in Kenya, has fed 4,675 people, distributed 1,500 face masks, and has installed 32 hand washing stations. PCF specifically works with Samburu County, home to 310,000 people. By June 28, 2020, they will have fed almost 6,000 people. The average family in the area has six people, so that would mean there are 300 families, or 1,800 people left to feed. If they get additional money, they will be able to expand their food distribution to other areas where people are also food insecure. Surrounding villages are hearing about what PCF is doing and requesting that they help them as well.

 

Through their mission to eradicate female genital mutilation and child marriages, PCF regularly works with Kenyan communities. For those they serve, the consequences of the locust invasion coupled with the threat of COVID-19 is devastating. Right now, PCF is working to distribute rice, beans, wheat flour, maize flour, porridge, greens, sugar, salt, tea leaves and cooking oil immediately with a goal of helping as many people as possible.

 

PCF has been asking donors for an urgent gift of $20 to provide a week’s worth of food for a family (don’t we all wish our weekly grocery bill was $20?) All schools are closed and will remain so for the foreseeable future, adding increased financial pressure for parents who are already extremely poor to provide meals for their children since they normally receive breakfast and lunch at school.

 

Creating a GiveGoal for PCF on the GiveTide app will allow you to feed families in Kenya regularly. Though PCF is now focusing on feeding families because of the locust invasion, normally donations are used to send Kenyan girls to boarding school to ensure they would not experience the harmful effects of female genital mutilation or child marriage. They also provide workshops to teach Kenyan people about child marriages, sexual and reproductive rights and health, gender-based violence, the dangers of female genital mutilation and the importance of education beyond the primary school level. PCF buys sanitary napkins year round for school girls who can’t afford them, as many girls miss up to a week of school per month because they can’t afford them.

 

“Donations will save lives,” Sayydah Garrett, the founder of PCF, said. “Your support today will ensure that individuals and families won't suffer unnecessarily. We truly love our donors for sustaining our work towards ending FGM and child marriage. We hope you'll agree to provide assistance for those currently in need of food. Every dollar and every day counts. Your gift today will have an immediate impact on a community dealing with a desperate situation.”

 

To create an automatic GiveGoal for the Pastoralist Child Foundation, search ‘Pastoralist Child Foundation” in the GiveTide app, press ‘Donate’, then ‘Create GiveGoal’ and enter the amount you’d like to donate weekly. Make sure you have Auto-Donate on in your settings so you can make a consistent change!

 

 

 

Images from Pastoralist Child Foundation's Facebook Page

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