Compiled by Alpha Bedoh Kamara
With almost 70 million children in risk areas don’t have access to clean water and 50 million children living with families making less than $3.10 per day, Save The Children is calling on Governments and organizations to intervene and help salvaged the situation.
“Our family used to have many livestock and seven camels, but now we just have three goats. I miss drinking camels’ milk – I remember it was so delicious, but it’s too expensive to buy now. When I’m older I’d like to look after livestock like my family used to.” — Ayan is 11 years old. Severe drought caused her family to lose their only source of food and income.
The humanitarian situation in East Africa is deteriorating at an alarming rate due to El Nino-induced weather patterns caused by climate change. Following the failure of the seasonal rains earlier this year, the typically strong June through September rains have failed in some areas for the first time since 1989.
With over 80 percent of the population dependent on rain to grow crops for food and income, millions of families and children are at risk of extreme hunger and malnutrition. This urgent crisis has already exceeded levels not seen since the Horn of Africa drought of 2011 and is projected to be far more severe in 2016.
Nora lives with her five children and husband in Bodale. She says life is hard as the family earn two thirds less income as they did when they had more livestock.“We moved 20 villages trying to find water before settling here. It was very hard but we had to do it to find water and keep as many of our livestock alive as possible. We used to have over 80 but now we have 26 – so many have died.” — Nora, 20-years-old, and her infant daughter Sahra.
“In the mornings I walk to near the mountains and try and feed the goats we have. We used to have hundreds of goats but now we just have 10. I also help my mother by collecting water. When it’s hot I get really thirsty but there isn’t much water. I can’t move or do anything when I’m thirsty. I just have to sit down. I’d like to play football but we don’t even have a ball to play with. I just feel disappointed all the time.” — Ahmed, 9 years old.
“I help my mother to look after my baby sister. I also help with the goats, herding them from place to place. My favorite goat is a little one called Quruxo. It means beautiful one.” — Aasha, 5 years old.
Aasha lives with her mother, father and four siblings. When Aasha was just one-years-old, a series of droughts killed many of her family’s herd, forcing them to leave their home in search of better living conditions for themselves and their remaining livestock. They traveled around 20 villages before settling again.
Story and testimonies courtesy of ‘Save The Children’