Many have heard about the horrific drought that is gripping the Horn of Africa right now. I’ve been spending a lot of time in Kenya’s Turkana Region documenting the situation and the relief efforts there. In Turkana the UN has declared a food Crisis: one step below a Famine but one above an Emergency. While I have plenty of images that depict the crisis, today we’ll focus on the positive – the long-term food security projects of ChildFund and the World Food Programme in Turkana, known as Food for Assets. Click play above for a full explanation.
The Food For Assets program works to coerce those Turkana living in irrigable areas to learn sustainable farming practices by making the food aid they receive contingent upon their enrollment in the program. It is the hope of implementing partners that after one year of learning, people who have received the training will no longer be in need of food aid. So far the program has proved a success and is helping more than 3,000 households throughout the region. Plans are now in the works to expand it further. Of course, not everyone in Turkana lives in an irrigable area, and much of the region is still in need of emergency food aid during the current drought crisis.
There are many similarities between this program and the one I documented with Plant With Purpose in my previous blog entry. Large and small, NGOs and foundations are realizing that small farmers are the key to food security in Africa.
Regular readers may be wondering if I’ve completely abandoned the still photograph for the motion picture. Not so. Perhaps I’m just enthralled with love of the new medium. I’ve thrown in a few shots taken on a stroll after a long day of work in Lodwar, Kenya.