Ten million people are facing a devastating drought in East Africa. The UN says that in some regions the drought is the most severe in 60 years.
Very poor rains have led to crop failure, serious food and water shortages and the deaths of tens of thousands of animals in Kenya, Ethiopia, Somalia and South Sudan. With no rain expected until September, the situation is getting worse.
Because of the water shortages, tens of thousands of animals have died in Borena in Ethiopia alone. It’s a similar story in other regions: farmers struggle to make a living as their livestock die, and, with food prices on the rise, it’s hard for people to cope.
Halake Elmote lives in the Borea one of southern Ethiopia. She says; “It now takes ten hours to get to the nearest water point, and you have to climb a mountain to get there. The women left our village at four o’clock yesterday afternoon and returned at two o’clock this morning. The water is not enough even for the families and calves at home.”
For some children living in areas of drought in Kenya, the only meal they have is at school through a school feeding programme. However, the food supplies here are running out, and parents have been moving their children out of schools in search of farmland and pasture.
We are working urgently alongside our church partners throughout the region, running feeding stations for children and pregnant mothers, and distributing drought-resistant seeds to farmers.
This is Amenech with her son Dana Abede. They have come to a centre that CAFOD is helping to run to get food called Premix – Premix is food to help treat malnutrition and is made up of maize, soya and sugar with added vitamins and minerals.
We are digging wells and earth dams for communities, and are helping to build and improve wells and dams so that people don’t have to walk so far to collect water. Nigisti Tesfu has two children and lives in Tigray, Ethiopia. Her children were ill from the water she used to walk hours to collect every morning. Now she is using one of the wells that we have built and it has made a real difference. She says “Now we have clean water and no disease.”
CAFOD Director Chris Bain said: “ “ Every donation to CAFOD is having an impact on the front line of this crisis, so the individuals, families, parishes and schools who support this appeal can literally make the difference between life and death for thousands of people over the coming weeks.” If you would like to help people in East Africa, please donate to our appeal: cafod.org.uk/eastafrica
East Africa Emergency presentation
For Primary Schools
What is happening? 10 million people have been hit by serious drought in parts of East Africa. The UN say that it is the worst drought in some areas for 60 years.
Why is it happening? It has hardly rained for over two years in this area, and with no rain expected until September people are without food and water in Kenya, Ethiopia, Somalia and South Sudan.
A shortage of food Without rain crops die first, then animals die, which means there is no food for miles and miles.
Walking for water People are used to bad droughts in this part of the world, but the lack of rainfall is very serious now, some people are even walking up to ten hours to find water for their families.
Missing school to find food Some parents have had to take their children out of school to search for farmland and food.
How is CAFOD helping? We are helping to run food stations for children and pregnant women to help treat people with malnutrition .
“ Now we have clean water” We are helping to build and improve wells so that people don’t have to walk far for water.
What can I do? We have launched an emergency appeal to help people who are affected by the drought.
Let us pray God of all courage help us to walk along side our sisters and brothers in East Africa as they struggle to feed their families during this time of drought We know you hear the cry of the poor and call on us to live out your desire for justice May we through prayer and action show your love for the people of East Africa as we share our bread with the hungry In Jesus’ name who shared bread with the hungry And gave hope to those in despair Amen