“With slow rolling disasters it is much harder to draw people’s attention. When disaster like the earthquake in Haiti strike there is an immediacy that really helps people to respond. Unfortunately the slow rolling one’s, like what we are seeing in East Africa are no less severe in scale and needed response,” said Casey Calamusa, International News Officer for World Vision. The worst famine in 25 years has already left 10,000 children died and has put another 600,000 at risk. (For background on what constitutes a famine check out my previous post by clicking here).
There are stories coming in from all over the affected region. Families have had to walk anywhere from 4 to as much as 14 days to find the refuge camps stationed along the Ethiopian and Kenyan border.
The crisis has come from the lack of rain. Many herds of cattle have been lost as watering spots have completely dried up. With crops and cattle destroyed people have little choice but to flee. The current estimates are that up to 12 million people are being impacted by the food crisis.
In the numbers you can lose the sense of the actual human toll. World Vision tells the story of Mama Selina and her families experience with the severe drought in Kenya. “In the past, the rains were more, and you could get something from the land,” says Mama Selina. “But now, I cannot plow and get anything from the land.”
Over the last year the family has had to make more and more desperate choices to survive. You can read their full story here.
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