Update 17 May 2020
Food distribution. On 16 May, around 100 food parcels were prepared by School Farms Kenya, ICCM and Academy staff. To minimise the risk of problems, the Headteacher provided a list of the families who were then contacted to collect their food parcel from a nearby shopping mall where the parcels were prepared and supervised. Parents had to bring an Academy child to ensure that the distribution was done fairly and for identification purposes. Sadly we can only help a few people (maybe 1,200) and there is great hunger in the community.
As groups are forbidden under lockdown rules, social distancing had to be carefully managed which meant a steady queue throughout the day. Distribution had to cease before 7 p.m as a curfew applies from that time and until 5 a.m the next day.
A second distribution session is planned for 17 May.
Mums, dads and children waiting patiently
Update 14 May 2020 - first food gift to Kibera
School Farms Africa (Guernsey) was able to send £3,600 to its sister organisation, School Farms Kenya on 13 May, thanks in part to some generous recent donations.
With unemployment during normal times upwards of 50%, life is always difficult in the slum. During the pandemic virtually no one has legal work and therefore income has all but disappeared. There is normally no government help and the local people rely on the generosity of outsiders.
A local supermarket will supply the food and with help from Academy staff, will pack enough food parcels to give one to each family, including staff, represented in the Academy. There are currently almost 300 children in the Academy but including family members the number we are hoping to support is over 1,200. International Child Care Ministries (ICCM) is helping to provide food for 90 of the children and we will be caring for the rest. We are working closely with ICCM to avoid duplication.
A recent attempt by others to provide food from the back of a lorry resulted in pandemonium with several injuries and tear-gas deployed. Please pray that we will not have any issues when distributing the food which will be done by inviting individual parents to come and collect their parcels at specific times.
The gift from School Farms Africa (Guernsey) will only be sufficient for up to 10 days so if you are able to help us go further, we would be very pleased to hear from you.
You have to look really hard to find news of other desperate problems in the region, but they are there. COVID -19 is just one of the worries for the population.
Floods. Recent rains have caused havoc in many areas of the country with loss of life and damage to thousands of homes. Reservoirs have been dangerously full resulting in the release of water in huge quantities.
Locusts. The country has been ravaged this spring by vast swarms of locusts not seen for decades. Huge swathes of land have been affected. Now, a few weeks later, a second wave of locusts has appeared. These seem to be more aggressive than the first and experts believe the numbers could be 20 times as high as before.
See this link from a recent BBC report of locusts in the region.
Flies. The warm wet weather has seen a massive increase in flies, especially in Nairobi.
A reservoir spillway following huge rains. This water has to go somewhere.
A policeman rescuing a lady from the floods
01 April 2020
COVID - 19 has affected us all in one way or another. Many of our supporters have asked if we can provide an update on the situation in Kenya so we have started a new page.
To date (02 April 2020) we have received little news from the Kenyan authorities. Reporting is not easy, especially from the more rural areas. The official number of cases seems to be remarkably low for such a large country. Just 81 confirmed with one death and three recovered as of 31 March 2020. 37 of these cases are in Nairobi.
Our colleagues in Kenya have been trying to get as much information as possible and will update us a regularly as they can.
The greatest concern is the location of reported cases in and around Nairobi; the highest concentrations of which, as reported by the Star Newspaper, are in Kilimani and Westlands - very close to Kibera.
People from Kibera that have found labouring work in recent times are mainly employed in these two areas so the risk of infection transfer to the slum is significant.
The population density of Kibera (spelt Kibra on the map) is very high. Even with a conservative estimate of half a million people living in the slum, each person has a space of just 8 square metres on average - and that includes all open spaces. As each home is less than 10 square metres and with 5 or more inhabitants, social distancing is more or less impossible. Should the virus take hold in Kibera, it is easy to see that a massive tragedy could be just round the corner.
Kibera is one of several slums. There may be as many as 2.5 million slum-dwellers in or around Nairobi - 60% of the city's population.
Added to this, the health of the average Kiberan is poor. Life expectancy in the 'good' times is far lower than in the UK with some estimates as low as the thirties. One child in five does not reach its fifth birthday.
Please pray for a miracle of protection around that precious place!
If you wish to look at the Daily Star report of 30 March then please use this link.
The map below from the Daily Star [30 March 2020] shows the distribution of known contacts from people with COVID - 19. It is easy to see how already the risk of infection spread is significant.