Relief Efforts in Kenya 2012

    Pastoral areas in North East Kenya have experienced 3 successive failed rainy seasons. Though short rains arrived towards the end of 2011, relieving some of the pressure on rural farmers, around 4 million people still face massive food insecurities.

    Throughout this crisis, Ummah Welfare Trust has consistently distributed dry food rations across rural Somalia and Kenya; providing a cushion to thousands of families who find themselves in a worsening situation. In the midst of its largest relief project ever, UWT is currently distributing emergency food packs in the regions of Modagash and Garissa, North East Kenya.

    UWT fieldworker, Muhammad Taaha, initially part of the efforts in Somalia, is now in Kenya overseeing UWT’s relief projects. Follow him and his blog as he traverses rural Kenya, providing a vivid account of the life on the ground and UWT’s response.

    11th February 2012 - Striving To Serve Humanity

    Alhamdulillah, Ummah Welfare Trust pushes on with its large scale food distribution programme in rural and poor villages of North-East Kenya.

    Thousands of needy Muslim families in Kenya are benefitting from the kind and generous donations given by donors of Ummah Welfare Trust during the Horn of Africa emergency appeal.

    Alhamdulillah, this food aid programme in Kenya is being implemented alongside our many projects currently ongoing in Somalia.

    May Allah (swt) reward all those brothers and sisters who have contributed generously towards this appeal.

    The suffering although, is still not over and we appeal to everyone, please donate towards this appeal and know the Prophet (Salallaahu Alayhi Wasallam) said: "Wealth is not diminished by the giving of Sadaqah".

    May Allah (swt) give us the tawfeeq to respond.

    Above: Around 400 family food packs are dropped off in this village, ready for distribution.

    Above: Many of the women produced Ummah Welfare Trust food pack collection cards in this manner, wrapped in a small plastic bag. This is how much they valued the food they were going to collect.

    Ummah Welfare Trust carries out surveys beforehand and gives each family an aid collection card to ensure aid is distributed correctly between the villagers.

    Above: Young recepients of an Ummah Welfare Trust food package.


    Family Life In Rural Kenya

    Around 79 per cent of Kenya’s population lives in rural areas and relies on agriculture for most of its income which has been severely affected by the drought. Nearly half the country’s 40 million people are poor, or unable to meet their daily nutritional requirements. The vast majority of poor people live in rural areas. Although in some respects conditions have improved since the early 1980s, the poverty rate has remained steady.



    Above: Temporary homes and shelters are typically built from whatever resources are found nearby and have to be re-strengthened or re-built every few months.

    This severe drought and famine in the Horn of Africa has taken hundreds of thousands of lives, leaving many women widowed having to take care of their children and attempting to earn an income alone and in other cases, leaving children orphaned without any parents to care for them, forcing some of the elder children, often not yet reached the age of teens to assume the role of parents.

    While most of us are blessed enough by Allah (swt) to have clean water flowing from our taps just steps away, many people in the Horn of Africa, often young girls have to travel on foot for miles for this vital resource, sacrificing time and energy.

    It is quite common to see people walking for hours on end everyday to a 'nearby' water source, filling up a makeshift jerry can, before making the long journey home, just so they can provide water to their needy families.

    Above: A young 5 year old girl, Shamsah, walks several kilometres everyday to provide water for her family. Watch a small video clip depicting her story in a post below.


    2nd February 2012 - Serving The Poor And Needy

    Alhamdulillah, another day and another opportunity given by Allah 'azza wa jal to Ummah Welfare Trust to serve the poor and needy amongst this Ummah.

    The Prophet (Salallaahu Alayhi Wasallam) said: "You are not helped nor given sustenance except because of the weak amongst you" - Bukhari

    And Imam Nasai (rh) reports that our Prophet (Salallaahu Alayhi Wasallam) said: "Allah (swt) helps this Ummah because of the weak amongst them, due to their prayers, their supplications and their sincerity"

    May Allah (swt) give us all the guidance to follow in the footsteps of our Prophet (Salallaahu Alayhi Wasallam) and strive to the serve the needy amongst his Ummah, because of whom we, who have been blessed by Allah (swt) with so much, are given our sustenance.

    Should we not then do as much as we can to help them at their time of need?

    Please supplicate for them and donate so we can provide them with their basic needs,


    Above: UWT volunteer Sadiq calls out the names of beneficiaries which were gathered by UWT during the pre-distribution surveys carried out a few weeks ago.

    Above: UWT volunteers working hard distributing food packs to needy brothers and sisters.

    Above: I met brother Hasha Abdo, 70 years of age, who lost a huge 80% of his livestock during the drought. He is now facing severe hardship providing food to his wife and 13 children.

    He expressed his amazement that brothers and sisters living so far away in the UK would respond to the cries of people in his small village which has a population of 100 families.

    Above: I met Imam Dawood Shaykh who is the Imam and Mu'allim of this small village. He showed me around the simple masjid which the men of his village built with their own hands. They recently managed to put up a new roof alhamdulillah. Before that, it was made of straw and the Imam said, when it would rain, be it little, the water would seep through and damage books, mushaf's and other things.

    They try to beautify their masjid and they worship Allah (swt) with so much  eagerness in their village masjid.

    Our Prophet (Salallaahu Alayhi Wasallam) said: "The one who builds a house for Allah 'azza wa jal (masjid), Allah (swt) will build for him, a house in Paradise". (Bukhari)

    May Allah swt gift these people lofty rankings and huge palaces in Jannah, Aameen

    Above: This elderly brother walks a far distance to receive his UWT food package.


    Above: The children of this village smiling and laughing away as their families receive aid from Ummah Welfare Trust.

    Above: As the sun goes down, Ummah Welfare Trust are still distributing food in as many villages as possible.

    Above: This young boy feels tired just watching the Ummah Welfare Trust distribution efforts in the sweltering heat. It's around 35 degrees celcius.


    A Madrasah In Rural Kenya

    These are the young children of a village called Madhah Libah in North-East Kenya. While these children were studying the Qur'an in their makeshift madrasah under some trees, we delivered large food packages to their families.

    These sights are quite common around here, the Muslim communities no matter what difficulty and hardships their face, never let go of their deen, and children typically memorise the entire Qur'an by the tender age of around 8.

    Above: As they do not have access to books, mushaf's and other resources, their teacher writes the text of the Qur'an for them upon barks of trees from which they memorise and recite.




    Shamsah - My Story

    The story of an amazing, very young 5 year old girl I met a couple days ago in an extremely poverty-stricken village in North-East Kenya.


    1 Februarry 2012 - Food Distribution Goes On…

    Alhamdulillah, today we carried on distributing much needed food packages in 10 villages long into the night, around the rural areas of North-East Kenya providing large food sacks to approximately 1,000 families.

    This was greatly appreciated by all families who benefitted. The residents of these villages deep inside these rural areas are traditionally pastoral communities. They would rear livestock like goats, cows and camels. Since the drought worsened, most of these families lost large numbers of animals which affected their income and food supplies.

    Most families have suffered for the past many months and have lost children and parents and many women we’ve met have been left widowed due the death of their husbands to illnesses arising from malnutrition leaving behind thousands of orphaned children.

    Latest statistics show that some 3.8 million people in North-East Kenya are greatly at risk due to the ongoing famine.

    Above: Two elderly men carry away an Ummah Welfare Trust food package to their needy wives and children.

    Above: An elderly brother thanks Ummah Welfare Trust for coming out thousands of miles from the UK with donations from his brothers and sisters to his small village deep inside rural Kenya.

    Above: This is the Imam of this small village in North-East Kenya. He has been here teaching the deen of Allah (swt) for thirty years without any pay.

    He was very grateful to Ummah Welfare Trust for providing his community with food. Like a true and sincere da'ee, he was more concerned about the iman of the children of his community when he spoke to me.

    Above: This is what Ummah Welfare Trust is all about. To work for the sake of Allah (swt) with hope only for His reward and to put smiles upon the faces of the orphans of this Ummah.


    29 January 2012 - UWT's 2012 Large Scale Kenya Food Distribution Project Begins

    Alhamdulillah, by the grace of Allah (swt), UWT commenced it's new wave of food distribution projects concentrating on the rural areas of North-East Kenya.

    These villages which are at times, hundreds of kilometres away from the nearest town are very difficult to reach. We had to travel around 9 hours to get to our first destination, a village called Kasha situated north of the town Garissa where alhamdulillah, we distributed around 350 food packages to very needy families.

    Above: An extremely grateful brother takes away his UWT food package which he hopes will feed his family for the next month inshaa-Allah.

    Above: UWT getting ready to distribute in another extremely needy village of rural North-East Kenya.

    Above: I speak to an elderly widow who was suffering greatly as a result of the recent drought about her situation before gifting her with a food pack on behalf of UWT donors in the UK.

    Above: Here, I spoke to a widow while distributing in the village of Irboi named Halimah Umar and her daughter Mariam who were both disabled. Sister Halimah's husband passed away 5 years ago as a result of malnutrition and malaria.

    This had left her to take care of her 5 children alone. Just to feed them and give them water was an immense struggle for her, even more so as the nearest water source was 7km away.

    Above: An elderly brother making special du'aa to Allah (swt) that He rewards his brothers and sisters in the UK with Jannah, those who despite living so far away had donated so generously so that he and his family could eat for the next few weeks.

    Above: I met a very elderly mother of ours whose story was heart-touching. Her name was Ebla Omar and she was around 80 years of age.
    The signs of years of hardship and anguish were evident on her wrinkled face.

    She did not have any access to food or water and most of the livestock she did possess perished in the severe drought. Her 7 children had all moved away from these rural villages and left her to support herself.

    She was extremely grateful and expressed her heartfelt gratitude to Ummah Welfare Trust and its donors in the UK for making the sacrifice to come to out villages like her's which were situated so far from any town, deep in rural North-East Kenya.

    It was only the will of Allah (swt) that He accepted the sincere donations of brothers and sisters in the UK and made them benefit such needy people who had no access to aid living in areas that we never even knew existed. All praise to Allah ('azza wa jal) who provides for his needy servants in such amazing manners.

    May Allah accept the generous donations of all and give us the ability and guidance to keep donating in the way of Allah (swt) as surely, wealth does not decrease through the giving of sadaqah.




    27 January 2012 - Huge Scale Food Distribution Commencing Tomorrow Inshaa-Allah

    Tomorrow will see the start of another wave of huge food relief package distributions across many rural villages in North-West Kenya.

    Keep following this blog to stay up-to-date, as Ummah Welfare Trust aims to provide food to at least 5,000 families living in poverty.


    18 January 2012 - Ummah Welfare Trust launched its Horn of Africa emergency appeal in June 2011

    During the reign of the second caliph Umar (may Allah be pleased with him) the Arabian Peninsula was hit by a severe famine. Refugees flooded into towns from far and wide in search of food and water.

    Umar (may Allah be pleased with him) wrote to his governors in the various provinces of the Islamic empire pleading for assistance.

    From Egypt, Amr ibn al-‘As sent the following dispatch: “Help is on its way, just wait. I am sending a caravan, the beginning of which will reach you whilst the end of it is still with me. I also hope to find a way to send help by sea.”

    Inspired by the response of ‘Amr ibn al-‘As Radiyallahu Anh during the Arabian famine, Ummah Welfare Trust is scaling up its operations in Somalia.

    Alhamdulillah, the first of three cargo planes has arrived in Mogadishu containing emergency food packs, kitchen utensils and tents for 8,000 families. The planes will be followed by a cargo vessel laden with £4.5 million pounds of Emergency aid.


    10 Million Appeal

    The charity aims to spend £6 million on emergency aid and another £4 million on long term projects inshallah.

    Please support this cause as the people of Habasha are in need of your help.


    Case Studies

    Those Suffering from the Horn of Africa Drought and Famine

    Case Study: Aaminah

    This is sister Aaminah who is a resident of the village of Dabele in which we are carrying out a food distribution programme.

    She has 7 children and her husband passed away many years ago due to severe fever, hunger and malnutrition. She is living in extreme hardship and struggling to take care of her children.

    She has no access to food and has to walk several kilometres to source water and is reliant upon handouts from neighbours and aid organisations. Because of her 7 children, she finds it very difficult to go out and earn an income to provide for them.
    Alhamdulillah, Ummah Welfare Trust gifted her with a large food pack so she and her children can eat for the coming weeks.
    Please support sisters like sister Aaminah so we can provide food to her in the long term and work towards implementing income-generating projects so families like hers can stand on their own two feet inshaa-Allah.

    Case Study: Halima Omar and her daughter Mariam


    This elderly sister of ours who is a widow, Sister Halima, moved to this village of Irbai 2 years ago.

    Her husband passed away 5 years ago due to Malaria and malnutrition. This has left her, despite being disabled herself, to take care of her 5 children alone, some of which have disabilities too.

    She faces a daily struggle to provide for her children and meet their needs and inshaa-Allah the UWT food package which we have gifted her with, will ease suffering in the short term.

    Let us show mercy upon the Ummah of our Nabi (Salallaahu Alayhi Wasallam) and respond to their cries.

    Please donate.



    Famine Strikes the Horn of Africa

    Droughts and crop failures are not unique to Somalia, but other factors make the country less able to deal with these crises. Because Somalia has a weak central government, a single shock to the system can bring disaster.
    Areas where seasonal rains did not fall and commodity prices spiked fell victim to famine, and are seeing massive human migration.
    This pattern of drought, food scarcity and, finally, famine has plagued the region for over 20 years. This graph shows number of Somali refugees since 1987.


    This year is likely to be the worst Somalia has experienced since 1992. The Dadaab refugee camps, in northeast Kenya, currently hold more than four times the people they were designed to house. According to the U.N., about 1,500 Somali new refugees pour into Kenya each day.


    Dadaab Refugee Camp

    An aerial view of the Dagahaley refugee camp which makes up part of the giant Dadaab refugee settlement on July 19, 2011 in Dadaab, Kenya. The refugee camp at Dadaab, located close to the Kenyan border with Somalia, was originally designed in the early 1990s to accommodate 90,000 people but the UN estimates over 4 times as many reside there. The ongoing civil war in Somalia and the worst drought to affect the Horn of Africa in six decades has resulted in an estimated 12 million people whose lives are threatened.