“Cash transfers saved my life," says Akale

Wednesday 1 November 2017

By Caroline Kwamboka

Akale with her baby and husband Epem

Akale is a mother of one child living in Turkana County, Northern Kenya. She has suffered large livestock losses because of the drought. She originally had 30 goats but Cost all her animals to the drought. Akale and her family are struggling to get food, and the only hope they  have  is from Save the Children’s cash  transfer  programme  where  they  have been receiving Ksh 4,000 per month since June 2017.

Akale would like to see her child Erot grow up healthy but she says back of food and milk made Erot sick and he was often weak. Akale says she used the cash received to buy three goats for breeding and for  milk. She also used part of the money to buy food for  her family and for selling within her village, thus making profits to support her family and community.

She is thankfull for Save the Children’s cash transfer programme funded by Disasters Emergency Committee (DEC), and says her  family  would be at  risk of dying  if they had not  received support.

Baby Erot eating the supplementary

In their own  words:

“My name is Akale* I live in Sasame village with my husband and child. Before the drought, I had 30  goats.  We  relied  on  the  goats  for  food, milk and we also sold them to get  money  to  buy  other  items  in  the house. The goats died. We stayed  without  food, even  my  child  had  to skip meals. He became  sick, always had fever and was weak." 

“We lost hope and we could only feed on the dead animals.  All  my relatives have been affected so there was  nowhere  to  go. We  prayed  that we could  get help before  one of us dies."

“Save the Children has really helped me and my family. With the cash I received, I bought three goats for breeding and food  for  my family.  We have enough food and my family now enjoys  at  least  two  meals  per day."

“My son also benefited from the medical services. He was treated and  given supplimentary food. He has stopped being sick and looks so much better  than  before."

 Epem, Akale’s husband says: “We were lucky to receive three cycles of the cash, so we got a total of twelve thousand shillings. The first cycle we bought two medium  sized goats  for  two  thousand  shillings  and the rest of the money we bought food for the family. The second cycle we bought a sack of maize and later  sold the maize and bought an extra goat. We used the rest of the money to buy food. I hope it rains in the next few months  so that our  goats survive."

 “If it was not for Save the Children, children would have been  the most affected followed by women. The best we could do was to beg around for food or borrow money to survive," says Epem.

Akale adds: “We are requesting Save the Children to assist us and our children until the end of the year since, we are not  sure of  the next rains. If the cash transfers  can  continues for the next few months it would  help me and  my husband to start a business that can help meet all our  family needs."

Project Information

Kenya is experiencing its worst drought in recent history, leaving more than 5.6 million people in need of assistance. Turkana County, in northern Kenya, is one of the areas that have been severely affected. The people have lost almost all their animals and the March —May rains  which  were expected  to  bring  some relief have been very poor  and in some places not rained  at  all.

As a result of the death of livestock, on which people depended for meat, milk and income, more than 60,000 children  are now malnourished.  The  Global Acute  Malnutrition  (GAM)  for  Turkana  County  is  at  31.0% and the Severe Acute Malnutrition  (SAM) rate is  at 8.7%.

Through cash transfers, Save the Children  is supporting  people who've lost their  incomes,  enabling them to buy essentials for their children. Since April, 2017, we have reached 3,700 households, approximately 22,200 people within  3  sub-counties  in Turkana County.

Save the Children is also working with the Ministry of Health  to  set up outreach  sites  in communities  that are at least 10km from existing functional health facilities in order to reach remote communities who are desperately in need of assistance.

Epem with baby Erot