UNICEF’s cash transfer in Turkana helps a family survive
Supporting families to survive challenging conditions
In the arid and unforgiving landscape of northern Kenya, a family of pastoralists struggles to survive.
After recent attacks by bandits and protracted drought destroyed their livelihood, the family has no income other than what they receive UNICEF's Humanitarian Cash Transfer programme.
“We share with other extended family members whatever we receive. And before the next cash disbursement, we finished all foods bought,” says Edung Aipoko, a father of nine children.
“Then we will not be able to eat for days because we spare food for our children and grandchildren.”
Speaking from his traditional pastoral shelter, made of grass mats, Aipoko explains he only has one goat left because the bandits stole all his others.
The family’s situation is very different from what it was just months ago. Then Aipoko spent his days moving his goats to different pastures, producing milk for his families and selling the excess.
Now the family survives on maize, which they grind into flour and make into a traditional dish called “ugali.”
They only eat protein two times a week when they prepare a small amount of beans and goat milk.
But with his family to care for, including a daughter who has a 3-year-old child and a 4-month old baby, he worries how they’ll find the strength to keep going.
“I know proteins such as beans and goat milk are important to grow children, but I can only buy for twice a week meals. Other days we only eat staples and small vegetables.”
Unfortunately, the cost of food has increased by some 40 per cent since this time last year, with a half kilogram of maize flour now costing 150 Kenyan Shillings, making the situation even more challenging for the family.
“I know UNICEF support is only short term and I should rebuild my livelihood so as before.”
UNICEF’s Cash Transfer program continues to be a critical lifeline for Aipoko's family, allowing them to survive in the challenging conditions.
Despite the uncertainty, the family remains hopeful they will one day return to their old life, rebuild their livelihood and become self-sufficiency.
In Turkana the situation of children and families in this drought-affected areas of Kenya remains critical.
By February 2023, 4.4 million people in Kenya had been rendered acutely food insecure due to drought and close to 1 million children (970,214) aged under five required treatment for malnutrition.
This represents a notable spike from last year, against 3.5 million people and 884,000 children respectively in July 2022.