Usually when schools in Kenya are closed, children spend their time playing and running around with their siblings and friends, before being called home for a meal.
But this school break is different. Children in this community in Kilifi County are spending their time listlessly sitting under trees. They are depressed and weak due to lack of food. Most families can only afford one meal a day since drought took hold of the country following low rainfall last year.
The next rainy season won’t begin until April.
On February 10, the government declared a national drought emergency, with 23 of 47 counties affected. The number of food insecure people has more than doubled – from 1.3 million to 2.7 million.
Plan International has been working in Kenya to provide urgent food supplies and lifesaving humanitarian support to children and families affected by the drought. Plan is also supplying families with jerry cans and water purification tablets.
To identify malnourished children, Plan conducts screening for children under 5 years old through Community Health Volunteers and refers cases of malnutrition for appropriate treatment, including supplementary and therapeutic feeding.