Friday, July 29, 2011

Yes, I am eating

I have had numerous people ask me if I am affected by the huge drought in northern Kenya. Just to clear things up, I am indeed eating. 

Things here in southern and central Kenya are just fine. Our prices of regular food have gone up (some staple foods doubling in price over the past 4 months) but I don't think it is due to the drought. Fuel prices keep rising slowly which, in turn, makes everything a few cents more. Sugar is also scarce these days. I don't think they harvested as much sugar cane as they usually do. It will be back soon though (and to be honest, Kenyans could do with a little less sugar in their tea). 

The drought is heavy on all of us here. Every night it is the top story with news of yet more deaths. It's hard to believe that is happening not to far from us (a plane from Mombasa to Dadaab, one of the largest refugee camps in Kenya, would take less and 2 hours). Yet we seem to be so disconnected from it. There has been speculation that this massive drought was predicted at the beginning of the year but not taken seriously. The Kenyan government has been criticized for not doing much to help their people. They claim they are doing the best that they can (yah...right). 

However, Kenyans have stepped up to take action. There is a service in Kenya called MPESA. MPESA allows you to transfer money from one phone to another. Safaricom, the company that  offers MPESA, has opened an account where Kenyans can transfer money right from their cell phones to the Red Cross who will distribute it accordingly. In the last day or two, Kenyans have sent over $200,000! 

If you can, give a little to help out. Over 6 million people are starving. That is the population of Vancouver times 2. Try find an organization that is collecting donations. I know I will be sending some money through MPESA today.

Just a little proof that I am eating. Kelvin took me for some yummy ice cream at the beach a few weeks ago. 

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