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Church kicks off drive to aid drought-hit families

Archbishop Anthony Muheria consecrates foodstuff donated by members of Catholic Men Action at Nyeri Cathedral Church. [Kibata Kihu, Standard]

Nyeri Catholic Archdiocese has launched an initiative dubbed Hope4you to raise money and food items to assist families that have been affected by the ongoing drought.

Archbishop Anthony Muheria said the programme, which was initially started in 2020 as a response to the Covid-19 pandemic, will now focus its efforts to support families in urgent need of food aid.

"This phase of the initiative is to respond to the ongoing drought which is one of the most devastating in 30 years," said Muheria.

"Some farmers, especially in arid and semi-arid areas have not had a successful harvest in six seasons and are facing the danger of death," he added.

The Archbishop attributed the drought currently plaguing the country to climate change, which has caused erratic changes of weather patterns countrywide.

"We have not been taking care of the environment, cutting down trees and failing to heed the needs of our environment and now we are facing this drastic situation," he said.

Muheria was speaking at Our Lady of Consolata Cathedral in Nyeri town, where he was accompanied by several priests, and representatives of the Catholic Men's Association (Nyeri) and Kitui Diocese.

He said the Kenya Conference of Catholic Bishops (KCCB) had come together to urgently intervene in the situation in an effort to save lives.

"We in the Nyeri Archdiocese in partnership with Kitui Diocese have already started the Hope4you initiative and we are hoping to benefit families in Nyeri, Laikipia, Isiolo, Marsabit and Kitui," he said.

He appreciated Standard Group PLC for partnering in the initiative to aid needy families.

"I would like to appreciate and thank the Standard Media Group who have contributed time and space to support us in this initiative," he said.

Muheria said they were targeting to support at least 15,000 families if they can raise at least Sh20 million and would be in place for the next two months focused towards the famine relief efforts.

"Our first target is families with young children and schools. We are hoping to reach them in the next two months," said the Archbishop.