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90 tonnes of relief supplies arrive from Germany

NAIROBI, Kenya, Aug 17- In conjunction with other German Non Governmental Organizations (NGOs), Lufthansa Cargo and German Wings of Help on Wednesday delivered a cargo of 90 tonnes of relief supplies at the Jomo Kenyatta International Airport in Nairobi.

President of Wings of Help Frank Franke who was on board the MD-11 flight from Frankfurt, expressed joy and appreciation for the generosity of the German people and companies who made their contributions within seven days.

“We had people working 15 hours a day in the last seven days. People stood up and said: ‘we have to do this’ I have never seen anything like this before in my life. Be proud of your country when you have friends, 8000 kilometers away and they come and fly to you, what a compliment is this?” he enthused.

The cargo through a mission dubbed, ‘A Flight against Hunger’ had in it tents, beddings, medical supplies and food for the hunger survivors in the Horn of Africa.

He said since Germans learnt of the famine affecting Kenyans and Somalis, they contributed to help the hunger survivors. “Germany loves the people of Kenya.  Help coming in this way is a big sign of solidarity. Many tourists come to Kenya and that does not mean they will stop coming because you have a drought here.”

Mr Franke asserted that Lufthansa transported the supplies from Frankfurt to Nairobi at a subsidized rate.

Immediately after offloading the supplies, they were dispatched to Dadaab which is holding about 400,000 Somali refugees.

Mr Franke said part of the relief will also be delivered to Isiolo and Garissa Districts in Eastern and North Eastern Provinces respectively, which are also reeling under the pangs of hunger in Kenya.

He further stressed the urgency of ensuring relief supplies get to the people who really need immediate help. Some of the medical supplies included antibiotics, anti-malarial drugs and baby food.

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On Tuesday, Economic Cooperation and Development Minister, Dr Dirk Niebel announced additional funding from the German government of 118 million Euros to the people affected by famine in the Horn of Africa.

He said 62 million Euros will be channelled for medium and long-term measures while the rest will be used as emergency relief.

He urged development partners and also Kenya to start drawing more focus on rural development with an aim of preparing people for future disasters to reduce the impact of famine.

He also stressed the importance of coming up with a political solution to resolve the crisis in Somalia which has even made it difficult for donors to help people inside the country.

During his four days in Kenya, he held talks with the President, the Prime Minister and several Ministers especially on the current famine, development and governance issues.

He was accompanied by former German Ambassador Walter Lindner who is now the Director General for African Affairs at the German Foreign Affairs Ministry.

Mr Lindner urged Kenyans to ensure a peaceful general election next year as he advised Kenyans to avoid tribalism and hate speech which he said are risks to inciting violence during elections.

He praised the coalition government for restoring peace after the disputed poll and also for achieving a new Constitution.

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