by Rich, Co-Director, IHF Kenya
The IHF centre is situated two hours North West of Nairobi in the city of Nakuru. Meaning ‘dust’ in the Masai language, Nakuru is part of the so-called ‘white highlands’ and is generally verdant and relatively cool. However, at this time of year it becomes apparent why it was given its name by local Masai herdsmen. With a prolonged period of elevated temperatures and a lack of rain, Nakuru turns into a dustbowl reminiscent of Spaghetti Western movies. Roads are swept with dust devils and the powder heaped at their sides can be up to two inches thick. With the scorching heat and clear blue skies, all but the rolling tumble-weed is missing.
The oppressive weather presents two main challenges at the center. The first is that water tends to be at a minimum and the mains supply can be shut off for up to three days. With two large tanks at the center we are usually able to ride it out, but on occasion, the water runs very low and we have to cut down on how much we use. The kids never go thirsty, but the reduction in showers does create a bit of a stink after a couple of days!
More importantly, the dust itself can cause problems for the children’s health. There has been a rise in cases of respiratory illnesses over the last month and it seems as though a new child every week has a cough, cold or a sore throat.
Thankfully then we have a new volunteer nurse arriving this week who will be able to make sure that the children are well looked after. As always, thanks to our fantastic sponsors who provide funds for the children’s medical care! With this support we are able to provide them with all the cough syrup, throat sweets and tissues they need! THANK YOU!