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news | June 04, 2018 | Kenya | Emergency

Defying all odds to support my family of eight

Fransisca weeding her small kitchen garden which supplies the family with fresh vegetables to balance their diet, ACTED 2018

As rains failed in the whole of Samburu Country, residents of Nomotio village in particular have faced many hardships. As Francisca Loitakol, a 24-year-old mother, describes it, the lack of rains in their village caused their water resources to dwindle as well as their agricultural output. For months now they relied on just one or two meals a day and this has put a strain on her family both physically and emotionally.

Fransicsa has been a resident of Nomotio village- a peri-urban town in Samburu County- all her life. Married with four children, the drought has had very devastating effects like food and livelihood insecurity, which led to an increase in poverty. Her husband was the sole provider of the family, until there was not much farming and casual labour to engage in. She became desperate and anxiety caught up with her as days went by, because she was expecting their fourth child. She did not have enough to eat and soon she became very weak. They were both jobless and desperate, with three children and extended family to fend for and were living from hand to mouth.

When ACTED introduced the cash transfer programme to Samburu County, Francisca had just given birth to her fourth child. To make ends meet, her husband engaged in casual labour but it was hardly enough to cater for the family’s growing needs. Despite their hard work, they were only able to feed their family one proper meal a day. The cash transfer programme came as a relief for her and the family because for 3 months they would receive predictable cash to survive the drought. With a household of eight people, life was looking grim for them, but they never lost any hope.

“The business gives me plenty of time to spend with my kids, I am no longer idle and miserable, it has impacted me positively and I look forward to better things in life.” She stated.

She used the cash received to buy food supplies for the family and saved up to buy more supplies for her shop, something she attests helped them survived. She worked her way out of poverty, but this did not happen overnight. It took a lot of discipline, saving up every last coin to make ends meet. Beneficiaries and other residents now patronize her shop to buy basic supplies which is boosting her business all the more. This enabled the family to pay off part of their debt and now they are financially empowered. Due to the recent long rains in April, she was able to buy seedlings and plant some vegetables in her small kitchen garden. This will help supplement their food basket and ensure the family eats a balanced and healthy diet.

“The cash has boosted me in so many ways. It really changed my life.” Francesca says with pride.

The Cash Transfer programme funded by the European Union Civil Protection and Humanitarian Aid Operations (ECHO) is supporting 7,500 vulnerable households in Samburu and Mandera counties to improve access to basic food and non-food needs. To save lives through nutrition, sensitive emergency cash assistance is brought to drought affected households in the regions.

 

 

This document covers humanitarian aid activities implemented with the financial assistance of the European Union. The views expressed herein should not be taken, in any way, to reflect the official opinion of the European Union, and the European Commission is not responsible for any use that may be made of the information it contains.