published in DroughtFloodHope Spots 2024 on May 17, 2024

Hope Spot 17 – Rain

Families you support through ALWS in Kenya, especially in the refugee camps, are facing devastating flooding.

I live in SA and I’ve forgotten what rain looks like.


We’ve hardly   a drop of rain since before Christmas.


Meanwhile, those on the east coast are drenched seemingly every day.


I don’t know how farmers cope with these extremes.


What I do know is that when you’re a family in east Africa, forced to flee your home because of war, the last thing you need is to be flooded.


Tragically, that’s what is happening now to families you support through ALWS in Kenya, especially in the refugee camps where you work at Kakuma and Dadaab.


You likely won’t have seen any news reports because the world’s attention is elsewhere, but the facts are stark:

  • at least 228 people killed
  • 72 people missing
  • 164 people injured
  • more than 40,000 families displaced


Mary Obara, from our ALWS partner in Kenya, LWF (Lutheran World Federation), emailed:



Dear ALWS friends,


We are all just inundated. The water and rain are everywhere, and it looks like the rain, their grandmothers, mothers, and all the family are here.  We had rain from around 9pm Tuesday through to 1pm Wednesday yesterday; we are just coming to the damage it caused. 


Yet, we hear this will continue the rest of the week. So yes, our implementation is affected in both Kakuma and Dadaab.


    • The schools have not opened for the second term, which should start on 2


    • In Dadaab, the decision not to open schools was reached even before the minister made the countrywide decision.


    • All construction work has been halted to avoid losses; this will impact project activities


    • Access to affected communities is now very limited – the access roads are flooded
    • All latrines are submerged and cannot be used, so even if schools open, we cannot have the children come to school where there are no latrines.


    • The damage to school assets like desks, books, etc., has yet to be assessed because we cannot access the schools due to limited manpower.


What we are doing


    • We have just completed an all-partner assessment process in Dadaab, and priority areas are emerging with WASH in Schools emerging as a priority. 


    • Please note that even with this as a priority, we cannot yet construct latrines; given the ongoing rains and the challenges of access, how will the contractors mobilize construction materials and equipment to the school sites?


    • We are activating a crisis modifier under one of our projects (ECHO) to get our teachers from other parts of Kenya to Dadaab to help with school-based assessment.


    • We are responding in Dadaab and the host community – mainly WASH and NFIs, providing tablets for clean water and NFIs for displaced persons. 


Our immediate needs


    • Do school-based assessments


    • Start procurement of services that we will obviously need, like clean-up of schools, fumigation, and construction of new latrines.


    • We have been told the rains will continue until June, so in the interim, we are conducting assessments and developing a comprehensive plan for the rollout in June.


Sorry if I have poured out my sadness in the writing above. 


Mary Obara

Program Manager

LWF World Service | Kenya Somalia |


You can hear Mary’s despair as she witnesses first-hand the impact of the floods on your ALWS work for children of war in the refugee camps in Kenya.


You will be relieved to know that ALWS has assured Mary and the LWF team that they won’t be forgotten.


Stepping out in faith, ALWS has committed $50,000 in response to this emergency.


Your ALWS action will support very basic hands-on recovery activities:


  • Renovate 31 communal drains
  • Repair 850 latrines
  • Excavate 15 dump-sites
  • Restore 31 flood-affected water-pans
  • Supply tools to 500 people to restore the environment
  • Through partners, provide household essentials to 10,104 families
  • Provide 2,500 women with Menstrual Health Management supplies


You are welcome to donate to this ALWS Emergency Action, if you feel called to do so.


This is all part of your ALWS action to care for children of war.


Last weekend, more than 850 people stepped out in Walk My Way Ukraine and raised more than $175,000 to help children affected by that war. (I will bring you a HOPE Spot about the Walk next week, so you can share in the excitement.)


After Tuesday’s Federal Budget, I’m also looking forward to updating you on a new 5:1 Grant from the Australian Government that can increase your impact for children of war in Myanmar SIX TIMES.


For now, I simply thank you for your kindness and commitment that mean ALWS can tell Mary that the children in the refugee camps at Kakuma and Dadaab aren’t forgotten …


… and that Australia will reach out to help in this time of emergency.


That is why you are a blessing ALWayS!



Your 5:1 donation is used wisely


♥ You help with practical care

Every donation you make to this project will support ALWS emergency action responding to crises like the floods in Kenya. Should ALWS receive income beyond what is needed, those funds will be used to support other life-transforming ALWS projects.


♥ You give ‘no strings attached’ aid

Information in this communication is based on data correct at time of writing, and may change. Funds and other resources designated for the purpose of aid and development will be used only for those purposes and will not be used to promote a particular religious adherence or to support a political party, or to promote a candidate or organisation affiliated to a particular party, or to support welfare activities as defined by DFAT. For more information, call: 1300 763 407


♥ Your kindness goes to work carefully

In 2023, ALWS ‘overheads’ (fundraising and administration costs as defined by ACFID Code of Conduct) were 15.27%. The 5 year average is 15.7%. A copy of the most current ALWS Annual Report can be viewed at or requested: 1300 763 407.


♥ Your privacy is important to us

ALWS collects personal information about you in order to process your gift. A copy of the ALWS Privacy Policy is available at If you don’t wish to receive further news from ALWS, simply call 1300 763 407 or write to

Australian Lutheran World Service (ALWS) is The Overseas Aid & Development Agency of the Lutheran Church of Australia – ABN 36 660 551 871

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