INTERNATIONAL COOPERATION AND HUMANITARIAN AID
A legend passed down from father to son relates that, almost 300 years ago, several young people of the Jie ethnic group entered the Tarash Valley in search of an ox they had lost. There they found an old woman who was picking fruit from the trees and were impressed by the natural riches of the place they had just found. Back in their community, they discussed their discovery with other young people in the area and decided to settle there, attracted by the abundance of the riches of that place. It was the beginning of the Turkana people, the same people that today cling to life in an inhospitable and dry land of 68,680 square kilometers in northern Kenya, on the border with South Sudan, Uganda and Ethiopia.
This desert region is inhabited by 1,300,000 people mainly from the Turkana ethnic group. A population whose economy is based mainly on family farming (goats, donkeys and camels) and in which any other form of economic activity is non-existent. The vulnerability of this population is determined by the spectacular effect that climate change has produced in the region (between 2-3º increase in average temperature since 1950) and the poor capacity of the population to overcome these changes due to the practically nonexistent physical infrastructures (roads, water supply infrastructure, electricity, etc.), as well as services (health, education, food security, etc.).
Save for some sporadic and short rain, the region has seen its rainy seasons disappear almost entirely over the past three years. In a semi-nomadic community totally dependent on livestock, climate change has put this town on the brink of extinction.
Africa, which barely emits greenhouse gases - only 3% of the world total - is the continent that suffers the most from the consequences of global warming. In the midst of this dramatic drought, the women of the Turkana people cling to the burning of trees to obtain charcoal that they can later sell and obtain a few coins to survive. This activity is a short-term solution, but will help accelerate deforestation and global warming in Africa. Global climatic variation, the consequences of which are suffered by the most impoverished countries, has accelerated desertification and deforestation in places like Turkana. Practices like cutting down trees only multiply the problem exponentially.
The increase in average temperature and the consequent desertification of the territory due to global emissions of greenhouse gases and the consequent climate change with an increase in the average temperature of 2-3 degrees in the last 60 years.
Drought has an impact on water scarcity at the community level and the consequent reduction of available food, causing a food crisis that in turn generates serious malnutrition problems and influences infectious diseases such as diarrhea and cholera.
The little or no investment in infrastructure of the Kenyan government, for years, such as roads, health centers, schools, etc ... has produced a non-existent economic activity based almost exclusively on small livestock that is affected by water scarcity .
Very low resilience of the population to changes and / or natural catastrophes.
The child poverty index reaches 94.3% of the population, health coverage only reaches 7% of the child population, only 30% of the child population under one year of age is immunized , only 18.1% can read and write , 60% do not have access to safe water and the HIV prevalence is 8.7%.
Kenya Government Data
· Malnutrition rates have remained the same for 3 decades (2.8 million children, 35% of the child population in Kenya).
· 19,000 children die each year from malnutrition .
· Lack of vitamin A produces 10,000 more deaths a year.
· The inability to breastfeed children produces 11,000 more deaths a year.
· If the prevalence of malnutrition does not improve until 2030, 430,000 children will die.
· 90,000 children are born each year with varying degrees of mental retardation due to iodine deficiency.
Our work is based on guaranteeing access to Human Rights to the local child population (Right to health, to education, to have a decent life, to food, etc.) using the Convention on the Rights of the Child as a work guide. Child and the Universal Declaration of Human Rights.
Our actions revolve around the center that we have established in the town of Lokitaung in the North Turkana region.
On the one hand we work on the direct causes of the problem with the construction of sanitary, educational, access to drinking water infrastructure, etc. to guarantee access to the child population to these services that are currently non-existent or very few developed, working to increase the resilience of the local population.
In the same way, we are working on the development of greenhouse gas compensation programs that allow us to reverse the situation very slowly (see our section on climate change).
On the other hand, we work on the devastating effects produced by the causes described above, with the development of different initiatives:
In the health area , our pediatric care center provides basic health care to the child population. The health response includes health care and dietary supplements as well as epidemic control.
In the area of nutrition, our programs work to alleviate the destructive effects of malnutrition in the child population.
In the educational area , we are currently working on financing the construction of a small nursery for children between 0 and 5 years old.
In the area of social assistance , our social services attend to the needs of the population (mainly pregnant and poor mothers), offering them the necessary assistance both to carry out the pregnancy and the subsequent monitoring of the mother and babies.