“For two years we have not had enough water.”
The drought in Marsabit has left families struggling to find water, killed cattle and threatened livelihoods.
Mother of five, Rebecca Letele, lives in Marsabit and says “the drought hangs over everything”. Recently Rebecca was able to join ‘Chemi Chemi’, AID’s microfinance project in Marsabit, Northern Kenya. Chemi Chemi means ‘water spring’, a symbol of life and hope especially in dry and dusty Marsabit.
Rebecca has used the loan and training given through microfinance group meetings to buy more stock and develop her business. She is now making a larger profit and says:
“The microfinance loan has enabled us to cope better with the difficult drought situation…This morning I had to spend 5,000 Kenya Shillings (about £34) buying 5,000 litres of water for the family.”
Profit from her business has also enabled Rebecca and her husband to pay for their children’s school fees. Rebecca’s husband is a pastor in the local area and she became a Christian after meeting him. She talks about the difference that has made to her life:
“It has been a very big change from our traditional way of life. We used to make a lot of animal sacrifices. Now I no longer have to make those sacrifices because Christ paid the price for my sin.”
Rebecca has almost sold all of her stock now and has to wait until the next loan disbursement before she can buy more. Increasing food prices in Kenya also mean that Rebecca will need a larger loan, once she has paid off her first, to be able to buy the same amount of stock as before. In short, larger loans at more regular intervals are needed.
If you would like to support families like Rebecca’s suffering from drought and poverty in Marsabit, click here to donate.