Kenya crisis: second slum food distribution

Published on 15 January 2008

Kenyan partners have distributed food assistance from the World Food Programme and Government of Kenya for nearly 77,000 people in Nairobi’s slums hit by post-election violence. WFP food was also given to 2,000 Kenyans who fled to Uganda.

Kenyan partners distributed food assistance today from the United Nations World Food Programme and Government of Kenya for nearly 77,000 people in Nairobi’s slums hit by post-election violence. WFP food was also given to 2,000 Kenyans who fled to Uganda.

The second distribution in four Nairobi slums within a week reached an estimated 76,800 people. The Government of Kenya provided cereals to the Kenya Red Cross (KRC) and WFP gave the pulses, high energy biscuits, vegetable oil and corn-soya blend for a full food basket.

The distributions of one-week rations took place in Kibera, Mathare, Dandora and Korogocho slums. Representatives of families identified as especially in need by church-based groups and other partners were given ration cards and lined up at 11 sites in the slums to collect their food.

Slums

In the first ever distribution of WFP food in the slums last Thursday an estimated 50,000 people – different people to those fed today – received food. The slums -- some of the largest in Africa -- are a priority for food distributions because most slum dwellers rely on casual labour to survive and were unable to work during the post-election unrest in Kenya.

Women who received food assistance today in Kibera said that the little food for sale in the slums had increased in price out of their reach in the past two weeks. Many said that they were unable to work and marauding gangs had burned down their ramshackle homes.

Of Nairobi’s population of 2.75 million, almost 60 percent live in the city’s slums. Even in normal times, almost two-thirds of the people in the slums struggle to survive on less than US$1 a day. Crime and violence are rife in the slums and basic services are scarce.

Crossing into Uganda

In Uganda, WFP food was distributed today at the border town of Busia to 2,000 Kenyans who had fled into Uganda from western Kenya since 28 December.

Some 6,000 Kenyans have crossed into Uganda and received refugee status. But those sheltering at two other sites – Malaba and Manafwa – have received food and other assistance from the Government, Uganda Red Cross and NGOs. WFP will feed them when that food runs out.

With today’s distributions in Nairobi, WFP food assistance has so far reached some 227,000 people in the capital, the northern Rift Valley and western Kenya hit by unrest since 30 December. The Government provides cereals and WFP the non-cereals to displaced or those affected by the violence.

Existing stocks

To respond to the post-election crisis, WFP was able to draw on stocks from its other Kenya operations feeding a total of 2.1 million people – 682,000 affected by drought in the North and Northeast; 1.1 million children in 3,800 schools, including some in the Nairobi slums, 62,000 hit by HIV/Aids and 235,000 refugees in the Northwest and East.

Schools in Kenya reopened on Monday and 45,000 children at more than 100 schools in the slums received lunches made with WFP food in WFP’s regular school feeding programme. The schools reported that about 50 percent of the normal enrolment attended on the first day.