Parts of Somalia, Kenya and Ethiopia are facing one of the worst droughts for 60 years, and around 10 million people are desperately in need of food, clean water and basic sanitation.
For many people, access to water is a mere turn of the tap away; for Abdha Aso, a 20-year-old mother of five, it involves a four-hour round trip to a muddy pond. Only a year ago, she could reach a nearby stream in 20 minutes but it has since dried up.
The rains, which usually fall twice a year – between October and November and February and May – in the Borena zone in southern Ethiopia failed last year and this.
Ethiopian officials said they were concerned about the quality of water being consumed by the people in the pastoral areas and have provided village officials with water purification chemicals. But resources are limited and not all villages would have had access. During the peak of the drought the government deployed 210 water trucks in Oromiya.
Despite the urgency of the situation, most world leaders are responding too slowly. Immediate aid is essential. Yet at the same time we must not let them drop the ball on long term solutions as has too often happened in the past.
Please sign our petition:
Dear World Leaders,
Please urgently provide the full funding that the UN has identified as necessary to help people in the Horn of Africa, and please keep your promises to deliver the long term solutions which could prevent crises like this happening again.
Some people look back to previous droughts and question whether things will ever change. But because of the smart aid that is supporting African leadership, progress really is being made. For example, 87% of people in the world today have enough food to eat and lead healthy lives – up from just 76% in 1970. And in Ethiopia the number of people malnourished has fallen from 71% in 1992 to 46% now.
But we know how to change things even more: we can help stop starvation now – and stop the causes of starvation. Firstly, we need to make sure funding is provided to pay for urgent help that will prevent people from dying. Secondly, the promises that world leaders made to invest in long term solutions must be kept, so that the people of this region can feed themselves and will not need food aid in the future.
Thanks for helping us to pressure our governments to save millions of lives – today and tomorrow.