Ethiopia, Eritrea, Kenya and Somalia have endured some especially hard years. The poorest people have been hit repeatedly by extremes of climate with drought pushing them to the verge of starvation.
Hard-working Caritas national members in East Africa and the Horn have been generously supported by the Caritas Internationalis confederation and are running relief and recovery programmes.
Food and medical care is provided and water sources dug or rehabilitated. Concrete walled wells have been built to provide water storage for the driest times. Villagers have been trained in alternative livelihoods like poultry raising to make them less dependent on pastureland. Herders have been encouraged to swop their cows for camels in a successful drought adaptation programme.
Families are given replacement drought-resistant seeds if they have been forced by extreme hunger to eat their planting stocks. They also have been given animals to revive their herds. Caritas strives to get people back on their feet so they can reach their full potential.
Caritas Updates from East Africa & The Horn
Caritas Internationalis has launched two appeals for Somali refugees living near Dadaab in Kenya since 2011. In Kambioos, Caritas works through its American member CRS to provide training on hygiene and better sanitation.
In Ethiopia, failure of successive rainy seasons brought about massive crop failure, the death of livestock and critical food and water shortages affecting 4.5 million people in eastern, southern and northern parts of the country. Caritas launched an appeal for €1.4 million to help some 65,000 people with food, water and the recovery of livelihoods.
In a refugee camp in northern Kenya, someone is teaching people how to wash their hands properly. The demonstrator lathers the soap, pours water, and rubs her hands together in a circular motion.
In southern Kenya, wide riverbeds turned sandy and brown. Women used gourd shells to dig further and further down in the riverbeds, hoping to capture a few scoops of water.
Whenever there’s a way to farm, Caritas helps people help themselves. Irrigation projects Caritas developed in the 1990s and early 2000s saved many people during the 2011 drought. But with no rain, many herdsmen and farmers simply couldn’t produce food. So Caritas started trucking in drinking water and food, driving lorries over near-impassable dirt roads in villages the government can’t always reach.