Seventy-year old Galgalo Halake knows first hand the negative effects of drought. A couple of years ago, this small-scale farmer, a resident of Marsabit’s Dida Adi village, watched sadly as his fifty livestock dropped dead, one after another after rains failed. That was then. But now, the Hunger Safety Net Program’s cash transfer has given him a new lease of life.
Galgalo, who has twelve grand-children, considers the period when he suffered the indignity of not feeding his household due to drought, as degrading. He says he sadly watched as his five grown-up children and their children starved.
“ But the Hunger Safety Net Program’s cash transfer gave me a new lease of life. It has also made me wiser on the importance of instituting proper mitigation measures, ahead of drought” he lights up as he shares about his recovery phase.
We met Galgalo at the GoroRukasa dispensary that is approximately twenty kilometres from Marsabit town, where the Hunger Safety Net Program where an account opening sessions was on-going.
Galgalo who now has six goats that are reproducing rapidly and has been able to support the payment of school fees for his grand-children.
“ I also fell ill and accrued a hospital bill. Fortunately, I was able to settle part of the bill with proceeds from the cash transfer I received,” he says with gratitude.
He is thankful that he has been able to undertake some crucial cultural requirements including naming ceremonies and organizing wedding that have elevated his social status as a Borana man.
“ I am hopeful I will again receive some more cash transfer funds this time round, to enable me solidify the economic projects I have,” he adds.
His advise to leaders is for them to support the Hunger Safety Net Program that is directly alleviating the rampant poverty within society.
“ People within this area have lots of poverty related challenges. If they can get this type of financial support and put the money to good use, they will free themselves from poverty,” the old man advises.