On Monday we set off on the final stretch of our journey to deliver living-saving food to the most remote places in East Africa.
At eight in the morning, the gravel courtyard of the Save the Children office in Habaswein was buzzing with activity.
Engines were revving, drivers were checking their vehicles’ tire pressure, nutrition outreach staff were making mad dashes from office to office.
Our boxes of high-nutrient peanut paste were being brought out of the store room and loaded into the pick-up trucks that would carry them out to the field.
By 9am we all broke camp and five vehicles sped out in a five different directions from the office.
Our five nutrition teams in Wajir South and Habaswein Districts cover twenty-seven hard-to-reach sites every week.
Four day trip
Because we need to visit the children in each site once per week, our teams can’t afford to waste any more time than necessary on the road.
So rather than returning to Habaswein at the end of each day, they leave the office on Monday and they don’t return home until Thursday evening.
They spend the three nights in between sleeping out in the field because it is the most efficient way to accomplish their mission week in and week out.
As we followed an outreach team led by Save the Children nurse Hassan out to their first site of the week, it was easy to see why they wouldn’t want to make such a trip twice every day.
For sixty kilometres our trucks bumped vigorously over pitted gravel paths, slid around sandy turns, veered up over banks of sand, and fought constantly with the shifting dust that makes up the paths that pass for roads in this part of the world.
After well over an hour of driving, we finally reached the small settlement of Mathalibah, a collection of thatch and stick huts in the middle of the unforgiving desert.
It was here that we found Umi.
Tomorrow I’ll post about meeting the baby Save the Children supporters first met at the beginning of our appeal in July.