No more handouts

15 Oct 2013   |   Blog   |   Kenya   |   Emergency Relief

Tags:  East Africa Crisis Appeal, East Africa appeal, East Africa   |   No comments

"I am now able to buy food for my family, as I am paid for work done on the dam. We were relying entirely on handouts, but now, I can say I feel part of my human dignity has been restored as I can now provide for my family’s needs."  Tibiwa Galfure.

In 2011, Tibiwa Galfure, a father of four, was jobless. Like so many others in Tupcha village, in Kenya’s dry northern region, putting food on the table for his family was a daily battle as drought gripped East Africa causing a food crisis across the region.

Two years on, better water infrastructure and management have improved the village’s food security, health and provided employment. Tibiwa can once again provide for his family’s needs and he has a renewed sense of dignity.

The drought exacerbated an already dire situation. Even in the best of times, the region suffers from chronic water and food scarcity due to frequent droughts and outbreaks of disease among livestock, the community’s main livelihood. Conflict over scarce resources amplifies the effects of drought.

Tibiwa dreaded the break of each day. “Every day, life was a waking nightmare for me. I did not know where my family’s next meal would come from. A lot of the water in my village was contaminated and was making us sick. I had no job and it was a real challenge to survive with most of our animals having perished due to the drought”.

I am very grateful to Caritas Australia for all the support they have given to us".

The Diocese of Marsabit, with funds from Caritas Australia and CAFOD, helped improve water supplies in the area. Tibiwa’s community built new water pans, which capture surface water, and rehabilitated and expanded existing pans. One expanded pan alone provides clean water for more than 3,000 people in Tupcha village.

Water management committees were also set up to monitor the pans, promote proper hygiene, and reinforce the need to boil water before use.

Before, Tibiwa’s family used to walk for an hour to fetch 20 litres of drinking water, which was often contaminated. Now, they can fetch up to 60 litres of clean water a day in just under 20 minutes.

“This project has changed my life and that of my family for the better,” says Tibiwa. “I am very grateful to Caritas Australia for all the support they have given to us and we would like to ask them to continue their support.”

This project is funded by Caritas Australia, AusAID and CAFOD (Caritas UK). Thanks to your support and donations to the East Africa Appeal, communities like Tibiwa' s have received vital support to help them build a future with more reliable sources of water and food.

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