Hunger likely to deepen in East Africa
The weather does not look good for much of East Africa. In the latest forecast, ICPAC (IGAD Climate Prediction and Application Centre) says the next three months could see the failure of the sixth consecutive rain season in parts of Ethiopia, Kenya, Somalia and Uganda. Almost 23 million people are already one step away from famine.
The combination of drought and the high price of food has left many people dependent on outside assistance. Aid workers and officials are warning of impending disaster but the response has not been enough to meet the urgent need for life-saving measures.
Last year, the region came very close to famine. There was little food or water for people or the animals on which many depended for their livelihoods. Hundreds of thousands left their homes in search of food and water.
One of those women was 65 year old Hawa from Jubbaland who walked for three days in the scorching heat in search of food. “I almost went mad but God has been with me throughout my journey she said.”
Once she had owned 60 cows and 50 goats but the drought had claimed them all.
“I left behind every single thing I owned. My only worry was if I would ever make to a safer place,” she says.
She walked with 50 other people who protected each other from wild animals also searching for food in the dried-out landscape.
Once the group reached the Ceel Jale camp further north, Hawa was allocated a resting spot. Her new neighbours helped her build a makeshift shelter using a few branches and old clothes.
She was grateful for the food parcel she received from local ACT Alliance member, the Lutheran World Federation: including wheat, rice, cooking oil and sugar.
Knowing how desperate the situation was back home, she planned to send a message to her seven children and their families before it was too late.
ACT Alliance local partners are responding with food, water, sanitation, cash transfers, child protection and other support. They have assisted over 110,000 people already but many are worried for the months ahead. Local staff do not like to see this unnecessary suffering. Instead they would rather be investing in disaster prevention, assisting them to adapt to the climate crisis. For now, the urgent need is food and water.
Donate to the East Africa Appeal online or by phoning 0800 74 73 72.
March 9, 2023