A Statement from the Kenya Conference of Catholic Bishops (KCCB)
Dear brothers and sisters, receive greetings in the name of Christ the savior,
The World Health Organization (WHO) declared the New Coronavirus COVID-19 outbreak a pandemic on 11th March 2020, after 118,000 cases were reported in 114 countries, and 4,291 people had lost their lives. Kenya reported its first case of COVID-19 on the 13th March 2020. As of May 26th, 2020, the total number of confirmed cases in Kenya was at one thousand three hundred and forty eight (1,348). Fifty two (52) deaths have been reported so far giving a case fatality rate (CFR) of 4.62 percent, and four hundred and five (405) recoveries. As of April 22, 2020, twelve (12) counties have reported cases namely: Nairobi (207), Mombasa (66), Kilifi (8), Mandera (8), Kajiado (3), Nakuru (2), Kitui (2), Siaya (2), Homabay (1), Kakamega (1), Kwale (1), Uasin Gishu (1, Foreigner (1).
Based on currently available information and clinical expertise, older adults and people of any age who have serious underlying medical conditions might be at higher risk for severe illness from COVID-19. Additionally, the COVID-19 pandemic will hit the nation’s most vulnerable people the hardest including the 2.5 million people living in informal settlements. These areas are densely populated with inadequate household water and sanitation, little or no waste management, overcrowded public transport and limited access to formal health care facilities. In addition, people in informal settlements suffer from lack of basic services, secure tenure and adequate housing. Urgent preparations are needed now to enable residents to stay safe and healthy.
Recommended measures to prevent COVID-19 transmission such as hand washing, physical distancing, self-quarantine, self-isolation or community-wide lock-downs and curfews often result in serious economic and humanitarian consequences in informal settlements. People do not have running water at home and must travel outside the home to collect water and use shared latrines. They live in crowded conditions and families often share just one or two rooms. Most of the people also survive on a hand-to-mouth kind of existence. In addition disinformation about the pandemic can spread rapidly in slums where residents often mistrust government messaging and policies due to experience with forced evictions, employment discrimination and public sector neglect.
The Kenya Conference of Catholic Bishops (KCCB) is appealing to all Christians, partners and people of goodwill to support our emergency response initiatives to the COVID-19 pandemic in our Nation. The emergency operation will provide to the at-risk population core relief items such as: basic food stuff, support to basic hygiene and hand-washing and public health messaging. Assistance will also include support to the health facilities providing case management of COVID-19 patients with Personal Protective Equipment (PPE).
We request you to support this initiative by donating funds, food and non-food items to support and save the lives of the affected population. In-kind donations (dry food and non-food items) can be channeled through our Parishes, Diocesan and National offices and other church institutions. After which all the contributions (financial and in-kind) will be collected at designated places in our dioceses and parishes, for distribution to the most affected people.
Since not all Dioceses are affected equally, we will suggest a proportional share of the proceeds i.e. Three quarters (¾) remains in the diocese for covering people who are vulnerable to the impacts of COVID-19 within the Diocese (the elderly, people with underlying medical conditions and the poor in informal settlements, people affected by other emergencies like floods and landslides). Then a quarter (¼) of the total contributions is consolidated at the national level to address the most affected COVID-19 Counties.
Catholic Health Commission of Kenya (CHCK), Caritas Kenya and Catholic Justice and Peace Commission (CJPC), will coordinate this initiative.
While we thank you for your continued support, we assure you of our prayers.
With prayerful best wishes,
Yours Sincerely in Christ
Most. Rev. Philip Anyolo
Kenya Conference of Catholic Bishops (KCCB)
Most. Rev. Martin Kivuva
Caritas Kenya – Kenya Conference of Catholic Bishops (KCCB)
For financial support, kindly send your contributions through any of the following means:
BANK: (RTGS or EFT or Cheques)
Bank Name: Kenya Commercial Bank
A/C NAME: KEC – Catholic Charity Emergency Fund
A/C No.: 1106770862
SWIFT CODE: KCBLKENX
BRANCH: SARIT CENTRE
MPESA PAY BILL:
Business Number (PayBill Number): 560702