Several countries in East Africa are facing drought following multiple poor rainy seasons.
Rainfall dropped significantly across the Horn of Africa between October and December 2016. Three consecutive years of diminished food production and pastoral resources have decreased people’s capacity to absorb another shock. As a result, over 23 million people in this region are in need of food assistance. Conflict-ridden countries like South Sudan and Somalia are already experiencing famine. (Note that Compassion does not work in South Sudan or Somalia.)
Neighbouring countries where Compassion works, including Kenya, Uganda, Ethiopia and Tanzania, have experienced lower yields and higher food prices. In some incidences, this has fueled inter-community conflicts in pastoral lands. (Rwanda, another East African country where Compassion works, is not at risk of drought.)
The drought has left many Compassion-assisted families without reliable access to sufficient quantities of affordable, nutritious food. They also have to trek longer distances in search of water. If your child becomes impacted, we will contact you.
Compassion’s response to food security
Through our holistic child development model, our local churches are actively engaged in the life of each registered child. Because church partners know each child and family, they know the challenges each family faces and are uniquely placed to quickly identify and respond to needs before they become dire situations.
Our church partners continue to identify families in dire need of food, and they’re providing additional food rations or supplements in the short-term.
In the long-term, they’re instituting measures to build food security through our Response programs, such as:
- Education on farming methods that employ simple, yet modern technologies. (Read an example of one of these interventions.)
- Micro-enterprises that diversify and increase income sources for families
- Goats, sheep and chickens to supplement daily dietary needs and bring in additional income
- Savings groups, which encourage parents to save and lend to each other
- Wells, rainwater harvesting systems and water tanks to increase water storage capacity
Our church partners are also reaching out to local agencies to garner more support towards affected families in their communities and arranging rapid disaster assessments for areas where there’s potential need.
Prayer for East Africa
- Pray for a good rainy season—rains that penetrate the ground without causing flooding or mudslides.
- Pray for wisdom for our country and regional leadership teams, as well as governments and other organizations in the areas that are the most impacted.
- Pray for our church partners as they continually monitor how the drought is affecting the children in their care.
By Silas Irungu, Africa Communications Specialist