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A ray of hope in Baringo crisis: flood survivors get UNFPA Dignity Kits

Rain is usually a harbinger of good tidings and its coming is met with jubilation. People usually prepare their lands for the beginning of the planting season. This was not the case for 12-year-old Kevin Kimante who found himself resident at Loropil Dispensary as an Internally Displaced Person (IDP). Kimante’s family is among more than the 700 families who have been displaced as a result of the heavy rains which have been pounding Baringo County since March 2020. Life in the camp is an ordeal as the IDPs rely on wellwishers for their day-to-day necessities; a harrowing experience for individuals who were used to fending for themselves. The rains swept away most of their property while houses and other structures were submerged in the water. Kimante lives at the IDP Camp together with his mother and four siblings among whom he is the oldest. For the families in the camp, the biggest worry is how to put food on the table. It is entirely by dint of lack that a morsel of food provided by well-wishers would go down their throats. Rescue and Relief! It was with great joy and a sense of relief that these families received the team the Kenya Red Cross Society (KRCS) to offer some essential support provided by UNFPA. The team reached out to Kimante and his community through integrated medical outreaches, peer to peer sessions, safe motherhood review sessions as well as dialogue days to discuss matters related to SGBV/SRH. Between March and May 2020, the project was able to support girls, boys and women of reproductive age with 140 dignity kits which contain sanitary pads, panties for girls, body oil, soap, torch, slippers, underwear for boys, tooth brush and tooth paste. A total of 90 girls boys benefited from the kits. Kimante could not hide his joy upon receiving his kit. He narrated how life in the camp can be challenging, making it near impossible to access even soap for personal hygiene. Most of his clothes were swept away by the rains and he was happy to have new underwear. He is pensively aware that such things are now a luxury for his family and is grateful that in the midst of the hard times, he is able to a sense of dignity in his childhood. He now does not have to walk barefoot. He is also able to help his mother to look after livestock when they go astray at night. “We would get food and other non-food items like utensils but we have never received items like a torch, tooth paste, slippers, toothbrush, soap, under clothes and a bag. We sleep on a bare floor inside the Loropil ECD and at times we encounter snakes. This torch is of great importance. I will be able to use it to access the toilet at night. We are happy and see hope at the moment. I am looking forward to using my school bag when schools finally reopen,” he expressed his joy