It’s a well-known fact that Kenya is one of our planet’s most challenging landscapes. For those who live, or spend any significant time in Kenya, the daunting challenges faced on a day-to-day, hour-by-hour basis are a growing and frightening reality.

Inspired and driven by the harsh reality of daily life in Kenya, in 2012 I travelled to Beringo County in mid to northern Kenya with a hope to make a difference.

My journey started in Nakuru, Kenya‘s fourth largest town in the Central Rift Valley which also happens to be where my partner lives and works as a teacher of English. In 2012 she also volunteered at a local women’s business group. A weekend event was being organised as I arrived, to be held in a local school about three hours’ drive away from Nakuru and five hours from the capital, Nairobi. The objective was to offer medical care to those who needed it. I offered to support the event, which was expecting to attract between 250 to 300 local communities – we ended up treating 2,600 people, most of which had never seen a doctor before! Many had walked for hours to get to the school where we were able to supply three doctors, a dentist, 30 tonnes of food, shoes, clothing and about half a tonne of medicine.

 The competition for scarce resources was very evident, leading to a level of malnutrition I couldn’t have comprehended before my visit.

This girl was only five years old, she carried her sister on her back for over an hour before she joined the queue to see one of our doctors. As soon as I saw her and heard their story, I took her hand and straight in to see one of the doctors. A moment I’ll never forget.

Alas, the lack of rain in much of East Africa for many months has made the situation far worse for Kenya. The estimate of those at risk is around 4,000,000. Tens of thousands of children are likely to die from lack of water (let alone clean) and food.

I will be returning to the town of Nakuru in mid-April and will personally organise for trucks to take clean drinking water to help these abandoned people and tide a few villages over until the rain returns. Travelling further north is still too risky, the danger being that the pastoralist cattle herders (most of which have lost their livestock due to lack of resources) carry Kalashnikov semi-automatic weapons and would see a convoy of aid trucks with too much interest.

During my next visit I’ll arrange for trucks, drivers and helpers to collect resources and distribute them across some local villages on the northern shores of Lake Beringo. I’m hoping to encourage some leading supermarkets in Nakuru to give us discounted rates on their bottled water. I’ll also negotiate on milk supplements for the younger children, keeping all the receipts as I go throughout my journey.

The university bus we had hired to take us to Beringo. The road in the picture had been washed away by a previous flash flood.


The above picture is of the helpers in the school playing area.

An ongoing project which I’ve just started is to build a safari lodge in the Rift Valley, 30 kilometres from Nakuru, about 6,700 feet above sea level with panoramic views across the Rift Valley. In two to three years, I plan to extend the site to include an orphanage, to support those children who have lost their families to the aids virus.

To make a donation and support the lives of those in and around the town of Nakuru, please visit my Just Giving page: http://bit.ly/TSJustGiving

Tony Slade

Independent Mortgage and Protection Adviser