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October 29, 2014 | Posted in Civil Society Development (CSD), Humanitarian intervention, Integrated Water Resources Management (IWRM), Quality | By

October 29,1014,  Horn of Africa

More than 13 million people so far have been affected by the drought in the Horn of Africa. IAS is on ground distributing water, food and other necessities to 30,000 people in Ethiopia and Kenya. Thanks to this, many lives have been saved. The work is however far from completed.

The rain in March did not come which had led to severe consequences:  harvests was destroyed and hundreds of thousands of people now lack basic necessities such as  food and water.

– When the rain didn’t occur both humans and animals lacked water, which has led to the death of people and animals because of dehydration. The situation is serious and especially for women, children and elderly, says Ketema Kinfe, Country Director for IAS in Ethiopia.

Challenges delay the implementation work

The IAS team focus on distributing water, food and other supplies to the villages where the need is the greatest.  However, they face several challenges on a daily basis.

– A problem is that electricity is often lost and it can take several hours before returning. Since the distribution of water depend on electricity it creates delays and we can’t hand out the water as fast as we would like, says Ketema.

Another challenge is the distance. There is no gas station in the villages, instead the teams must often drive long detours to refuel, which also causes a delay in the distribution of water.

Breaking a vicious circle

Women are the most likely to be responsible of fetching water and the drought forces them to walk long distances to the nearest well. Since they lack food the women return home exhausted and as a result they are not able to care for their children and give them the food they need. Often children are forced to leave school because they are needed at home.

– It becomes a vicious spiral. But by providing families with food and water, kids also can continue school, says Ketema.

Drilling wells

IAS ambition is to target help where it is most needed. In order to quickly meet people’s needs for water IAS transport water to schools and hospitals with trucks. Even food packages are distributed to the most vulnerable areas. IAS also drill several wells in order to contribute to long-term solutions.

– We are also working hard to educate and create awareness about hygiene and sanitation in the villages to prevent infections and diseases, says Ketema.

Your help is needed

The situation is very serious and people need your help. If you want to participate and contribute, you can donate a gift  and mark it with the “Horn of Africa”.

Thank you for your gift!

Text: Rebecka Woods

Photo: Håkan Björk

 

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