By Andrew Wasike
NAIROBI, Kenya (AA) – Dozens of vulnerable families from a slum area in the Kenyan capital Nairobi on Saturday received food and non-food assistance from the Turkish Cooperation and Coordination Agency (TIKA).
“I have not eaten anything for the past three days, I was a housemaid for a family in Runda [affluent suburb] but they asked me not to report to work because of coronavirus,” Mercy Wanjiru, a mother of two, told Anadolu Agency.
“I understand that for me going there every day would put them at risk and they are a loving family but without work, I have no food at all, the little I get isn’t even enough for me, I only give it to my kids, I don’t even have energy to carry the food that Turkey has given to me,” she said.
“I am very grateful to these strangers from Turkey who were sent by God to save me, coronavirus is a pandemic but hunger is even a greater pandemic, if we survive coronavirus starvation might kill us,” she added.
Rukia Habiba, a 41-year-old woman, appreciated the donation of food and hygiene kits by TIKA saying: “I was running low on money, I barely have enough to eat. I have gone for at least two days without having food during the holy month of Ramadan […] I am grateful for this aid”.
Turkish Ambassador to Kenya Ahmet Cemil Miroglu, who was present at the food distribution exercise, said: “Today is a very important day for us. Even as we fight COVID-19, we should not forget needy people, we are here to give support to the needy people, especially those affected by COVID-19 lockdown.”
“We will reach out to needy people in Nairobi and out of Nairobi, we will also reach people who have been affected by floods to ease their pain and suffering,” Miroglu added.
Each Ramadan food package contains 3 liters of cooking oil, 10 kilograms of Maize flour, 4 kilograms of wheat flour, 2 kilograms of sugar, a kilogram of salt, 4 kilograms of beans, 500 grams of tea and 4 kilograms of green grams.
Besides food aid, a bag containing hygiene kits — including a 20 liters water dispenser, water purification tablets, re-usable sanitary towels, 10 bars of bathing soap and three long bars of laundry soap — were also distributed.
TIKA coordinator in Kenya Emre Yuksek promised more support for vulnerable families in Kenya.
“To minimize the negative effects of the coronavirus pandemic, we will distribute food in neighborhoods door-to-door and also to the victims of floods will benefit from our food and hygiene support program,” Yuksek said.
A total of 150 families benefitted from the donation made on Saturday.