Korr meaning ‘white rock’, and the whole of the northeastern region of Kenya, most of which is under the Marcebit County, have been suffering from a very severe drought which has destabilized and devastated the lives of the people. It has not rained in Korr for the past two years – the rainy seasons have come and gone without offering any respite … leaving the region in the unrelenting grip of a devastating drought... The wells and lagas (rivers) have dried up.
Human life does not stand a chance without water. Water is life. When the wells run dry, death visits not just human life but also every living organism. The drought has destabilized the life of the people… The lack of rains has also contributed to a massive loss of livestock and this in turn has undermined the livelihood of those who depend on them for economic and food security. Cultivation and farming are, of course, only possible where water flows… In today's Korr, nothing seems to grow except the scattered thorny bushes and some sturdy trees. The result: mothers have nothing to cook, children suffer from malnutrition, and they don’t go to school; hungry and dehydrated, they fall victim to an assortment of diseases.
One of the main concerns of the Salesian missionaries in this time of drought is the distribution of relief food. The Korr Mission extends to over 60 kilometers and provides for the people of Korr, Alisurua, Orotilkes, Bala, Lengima, Lokuchula and Namarei – all scattered and at a distance of several kilometers from each other. In all, they total 4,805 households. Salesians focus on reaching the most vulnerable groups, particularly women, children, the elderly and those with disabilities and sicknesses.
“The experience of traveling with the relief supply vehicles of the missionaries shows one that even each child patiently awaits his or her turn … there is never a rush, they don’t try to grab, they gratefully receive what is offered and they SHARE what they get! And a tiny piece of candy gives them a moment of joy,” said Fr Jiji Kalavanal, from the Kochi-based media company “Don Bosco Image.”
The people of Korr are grateful for the support they receive and still believe that there is no drought of kindness in the world. Some drops of water and a few slices of bread saved can save a life in Korr. Several little drops of kindness can together flow like a river alleviating the miseries of their parched lives.
Time is indeed running out and the people of Korr are in urgent need of humanitarian support to survive. Kindness and mercy are twice blessed… they bless him that gives and he that takes!