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UNICEF projects help drought-stricken Kenya

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Summary of story from UNICEF, October 5, 2011

A United Nations Children Fund (UNICEF) supported project in drought-stricken Kenya has helped the pastoralist community adapt to a new way of life – in a village.

Dadaab, in northern Kenya, is now considered to be the largest refugee settlement in the world, a place where people come from afar to safety.

However, the area’s local pastoralist communities also struggle to cope with northern Kenya’s drought.

Fatima Suthi, a 50-year-old mother of eight, brought her family in to a village just 15km away from Dadaab after they lost over 200 goats and 50 cows to the drought, and now she and her family are benefiting from UNICEF’s water, sanitation and hygiene projects.

She will never go back to where she used to live, she says. “I have no animals, and its hurts me too much.”

“Water is life, and we have water here. Having the water point so close, in the school, will be very good for us. We will be happy to have water all the time.”

She is also proud that three of her children are in a school – financed by the Japanese government and UNICEF – for the first time, saying she wants them “to be someone important when they grow up.”

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