In-depth: Another Kenya - The humanitarian cost of under-development

KENYA: Khadijah Ibrahim, "My husband has been sending me less money"

Khadijah Ibrahim: Her family is still feeling the effects of a prolonged drought
WAJIR, 13 November 2009 (IRIN) - Khadijah Ibrahim is a mother of six in the northeastern Kenyan district of Wajir East. The area has suffered recurrent droughts and is now facing the risk of flooding from El-Nino rains. For now, however, the effects of the drought continue to be felt, as Khadijah told IRIN:

"My husband, who is a nomadic pastoralist, moved away with the livestock when the drought became very serious and some of the animals started dying, but we are hopeful that he will return now that the rains have started.

"When he left, my children and I were left behind as usual. We could not go with him as the children were already enrolled in school here.

"Sometimes my husband is gone for long but he always sends back some money from the grazing fields for the upkeep of the family. He sends the money with the drivers along the highway.

"But the money has been reducing as some of the livestock died along the way. Now my husband has been sending me less money yet the prices of food have gone up because of the drought.

"The children are not able to get milk since all the cows have moved away. With the drought, the price of milk from goats, cows and camels has all gone up. We are now buying a litre of goat’s milk at 120 shillings [US$1.6]. Camel milk, which used to be the cheapest, is now selling at about 70 shillings [90 US cents].

"But we are expecting the price of milk to go down, as with the rains, the animals will return.

"The price of food is still high with a kilogram of maize flour now selling at 80 shillings [$1.06] - up from 60 [80 US cents] in September. The price of meat, milk and vegetables has also gone up.

"Getting food is hard for most families here in Wajir but I would say that I am a little luckier as I live closer to the town [Wajir]."

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