In the last two years, regions of East Africa have endured four back-to-back failed rainy seasons. This long drought has pushed an estimated 20 million people into acute food insecurity. One person struggling with the impact of the drought is smallholder farmer Kadzo Kenga Safari, a single mother, who lives in Kilifi County, Kenya.
For Kadzo and many other farmers in Kilifi County, however, drought is not the only reason they are struggling to meet their basic needs. Prior to the pandemic, Kadzo had been diligently implementing conservation agriculture methods she learned through World Renew’s Free A Family® program. Her hard work paid off and she enjoyed bountiful harvests, earning more than enough to provide her children with three nutritious meals a day. When the restrictions put in place to slow the spread of Covid-19 stalled markets in Kenya, Kadzo felt the weight of disappointment as sales of her produce dried up, her business failed and she began to struggle to meet her family’s basic needs. And with the Russia-Ukraine conflict disrupting the supply of basics and sending food prices skyrocketing, food security is more out of reach for Kadzo than ever. Now, she can only afford to feed her children one meal a day. She says, “They don’t get enough food to eat. This has affected their health and their performance in school.”
Kadzo has endured setbacks, but she has not lost hope. She is grateful that through World Renew she learned about kitchen gardening. And although the drought left her backyard garden and most of her farmland desolate, Kadzo’s resourcefulness continues to thrive. She started growing vegetables in a small area of her farm where she has access to water. On this little plot of hope, she harvests the tomatoes, kale and okra that she includes in her family’s daily meal.
“Long periods of drought really bring pain to communities and reverse the positive effects of the work we do,” explains Jenninah Kabiswa, Country Director for World Renew Kenya. “We will, however, continue to move in hope.” To learn more about how families like Kadzo’s move in hope, visit: worldrenew.ca/free-a-family.
This page is made possible through a partnership with CRC Ministries within Canada.