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BMMK appeals for famine relief for drought in Ukambani

Updated 5 January 2010

During these days and nights of Muharram when we remember the thirst and struggles of Imam Hussein (AS), his family members and his companions, there are countless communities where over 23 million people across East Africa are facing life-threatening shortages of food and water. A devastating drought is sweeping across this region nation, killing farm animals, crops and children. This disaster follows successive years of failed rains and worsening droughts, causing this to be the worst drought in more than a decade.

ABOUT UKAMBANI
The Bilal Muslim Mission of Kenya is appealing for donations to help provide famine relief in the distressed province of Ukambani. This semi-arid Eastern province of Kenya stretches East from Nairobi to Tsavo and North  up to Embu. The United Nations World Food Program recently said that nearly 4 million Kenyans (about a tenth of the population) urgently need food.

 

THE DIRE SITUATION IN UKAMBANI
Bilal Muslim Mission centres are located in the Ukambani region, about 200 kilometres from Mombasa along the Mombasa-Nairobi highway. To see first hand the outcome of the drought in the region, a delegation from Bilal Muslim Mission visited these centres on 9 August 2009. Some of their findings included:

• Barren land that was scorched and dry; this land was barely able to produce anything. Bilal Muslim Mission immediately sent relief food consisting of 65 sacks of maize to the three Ukambani Centres.
• Widespread hunger where desperate local residents would take the fruit of the baobab tree, crush it, mix it with water and drink it as porridge to satisfy their hunger;
• The local people were forced to sell off their livestock, which was their major source of income. Those who decided to keep their herd watched them die due to starvation as the parched land was unable to support their existence.
• Parents who were overcome with worries were forced to send their children to urban areas in search of low paying jobs in order to provide for their families.

The calamities faced by the people of the Ukambani region have had a direct impact on their participation in both religious and social activities. Attendance in the Mosques, schools, madrasahs and at religious occasions have drastically declined as the people are consumed with finding alternative ways to support themselves. 

AN APPEAL FOR THE PEOPLE OF THE UKAMBANI REGION
Imam al-Sadiq (as) said:  ‘One of the things which gives one obligatory entrance into Paradise and forgiveness is feeding a starving person,’ then he went on to recite the verse of Allah in the Qur’an: ‘or feeding (the needy) on a day of starvation.’

The World Federation is appealing to community members from around the world to help the famine stricken people of Ukambani by making a donation to the Bilal Muslim Mission of Kenya Ukambani Drought Fund. In a region where death stalks the people day and night, your support is urgently needed today.

COST OF RATION

FOR ONE INDIVIDUAL PER MONTH

Kenya Shillings

1,600

Canadian Dollars

25

American Dollars

21

Sterling Pounds

13


TOTAL COST OF RELIEF

FOR ONE MONTH

Kenya Shillings

526,400

Canadian Dollars

7,520

American Dollars

7,114

Sterling Pounds

4,387


For more information, please email secretariat@world-federation.org or admin@kenbilal.org

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