Drought hits East Africa

Plan is ready to respond as experts warn that more than ten million lives are at risk in east Africa where severe drought grips the region.
July 4, 2011 - PRLog -- Failed rains since last year have led to poor crops and endangered livestock across Djibouti, Ethiopia, Kenya, Somalia and Uganda. Plan is on stand-by to truck-in food, water and other supplies to some of the worst hit areas.

The United Nations’ humanitarian agency (OCHA) estimates that 250,000 children are seriously malnourished.

“Year on year, droughts in this area have become more regular and more devastating,” says Plan UK’s director of communications, Leigh Daynes. “High food prices, fluctuating rainfall, a rising population and ever dwindling natural resources have created the perfect storm.”

Rapid assessment teams from Plan are working with affected families on what needs to be done to avert a full-scale crisis.

“It’s clear that drought leads to a lack of food and water which, in turn, increases high malnutrition rates,” says Mr Daynes.

An action plan being drawn up includes water and sanitation to schools, nutritional support for children and pregnant women, as well as helping families rebuild their livelihoods.

In a region regularly hit by drought, villagers have their own contingency plans – including moving to towns, storing food and cutting down on meals. But successive water shortages over the last six years have weakened their ability to cope.

“The regularity and sheer scale of droughts and floods require long-term, increased investment in disasters preparedness,” says Mr Daynes.
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Tags:Plan UK, Drought, East Africa, Aid, Ethiopia, Kenya, Uganda
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