US-Based Organizations Steps in to Help Hungry Kenyans in the Rural


Boniface Manyala

The severe drought in Kenya has affected 23 counties, with about 3.5 million Kenyans staring in the face of starvation. About another 4.35 million Kenyans in 10 counties need humanitarian assistance as drought continues to wreak havoc.

In the last few months, the government has called on Kenyan as well as international well-wishers to step in and help the government tackle the problem.

That call saw a number of local and international organisations step forward to mitigate the situation.

Last week, a United States-based humanitarian organisation, Healthcare
Healthcare Extension Promotion and Training Organization Inc. (HEPTO), which has a branch office in Nairobi, conducted an outreach in Kola and Makaveti in Machakos County to distribute food and water to affected families in the two villages.

The team, working with the county government officials, identified needy persons, especially those ailing, people with disabilities and families with school going children.

“The cases we identified were extremely needy, and we gave them an assortment of foodstuffs including rice, beans, and maize flour, ” said Hepto team leader Florence Lintari.

“Machakos County is vast and can not be handed in a single outreach, but we are determined to undertake many more of this kind in Machakos and many other places in Kenya,” she added

Hepto organisation, founded by US-based medic Mohamed Jama Mohamed, has been involved in humanitarian activities in many parts of the horn of Africa.

Since the last few years, Hepto has worked in Somaliland, Kenya, Ethiopia, and Somalia, impacting communities in areas of healthcare, women empowerment, environmental protection and promotion, mental health and entrepreneurship.

“The food situation in Africa is critical and needs urgent attention. In the case of Kenya, this is the worst drought in 40 years; that calls on us to do whatever we can using our means to help reduce the suffering of the rural people, especially those who are elderly, the sick and the disabled,” said Mr Jama.

About 140 individuals benefitted from the programme that day , and Florence Lintari is optimistic that in future, more people will benefit from the support rendered by Hepto.

“Even though the rains have started falling in many parts of the country, we are aware that many families do not have seeds for planting, that increases the desire for many more organisations to come in and help in the situation,” Lintari said.

Mr Jama agrees with the sentiments and hopes that his organisation will be able to find a partnership to help the number of the needy cases.

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