Sophia Fredericks, Social Engagement Intern, National Headquarters, Washington D.C.
Kenya: The Red Cross in Kenya is working to provide assistance after the drought in Kenya. The drought began in January 2014 when it was announced by the Kenyan government that an estimated 1.6 million people would feel the effects of an upcoming drought. Agriculture livelihood zones were affected which ultimately resulted in food insecurity. The lives of people and animals are found to be at risk. As the drought continues to affect Kenya, communities are at risk of losing their cattle to the drought.
The Kenyan Red Cross is taking action to aid those losing their cattle. They are doing this by attempting to destock cattle by buying various goats, sheep and cows. The purpose behind this is to use the bought animals to create meat which is then given to households. Abdullahi, a resident of Dukanotu village, said “The beef I have received today will feed my household for at least three days…my co-wife died last year and left behind six children who are currently under my care.”
This practice works to make use of these animals before they lose value after the drought. The livestock are affected as well as humans by this drought. It helps provide food to the 21,000 in need of assistance out of the 1.3 million total affected. This helps those who depend on cattle for their livelihood to meet their basic needs and support their families.
Nigeria: Humanitarian aid workers of the IFRC have been killed following an airstrike in Nigeria. According to the Theatre Commander of Operation Lafiya Dole, Maj.-Gen. Lucky Irabor, “Some humanitarian staff of Medicines Sans Frontiers and some staff of International Committee of Red Cross were also affected.” It was found 70 people died and 120 people were injured.
It was an accidental bombing by the Nigerian Air Force in Borno state over a displaced person’s camp. The Nigerian airforce apologised over the accidental air strike over a statement that said ”The Nigerian Air Force (NAF) is saddened by today’s accidental air strike by its fighter jet at Rann in Kala Balge area of Borno State in which some innocent lives were lost.” It was found that the airstrike occurred during a time when essential items were being distributed in the camp such as mats and blankets. The accidental airstrike is the first admittance of the Nigerian military of ever making a mistake. Around twenty out of all the people killed were found to be volunteers of the Red Cross.