East Africa Crisis: two years on
19 July 2013
Our Church partners told us that the drought that hit East Africa in 2011 was the worst in living memory. Two years on, we are helping people to rebuild their lives for the long term.
In 2011, 13.3 million people across East Africa were affected by a devastating drought. You donated an amazing £5.2 million, which enabled us to respond quickly in the worst-hit parts of Kenya, Ethiopia, Tanzania, Somalia and South Sudan.
Your generosity meant we could provide emergency food aid and improve water supplies. You ensured that farmers could re-plant their crops, and that pastoralists – who rely on livestock for a living – were able to restock their herds. And you made sure that families who were forced from their homes by the drought had basic household goods and safe drinking water. In total, your donations have supported more than 330,000 people.
Rebuilding for the long term
Today, we continue to work across the region, helping people to rebuild their lives for the long term.
Philipos, a farmer in southern Ethiopia, says that a simple well has changed his life. When the rains failed in 2011, his crops didn’t grow and he struggled to feed his family. But with support from our local partner Hosana Catholic Secretariat, he dug his own well – and today he can grow food all year round and sell his vegetables for a profit.
He said: “A few years ago, it was just a dream for me to make this much money. My savings are not large, but I have managed to improve them and feed my family throughout the year. I will give my children what they need for their education too.”
Nyika Musiyazwiriyo, our Head of Humanitarian Programmes for Africa, said:
“It is our priority to ensure that people in vulnerable communities are better prepared for future droughts. That means digging wells and finding new water sources, improving land so it less easily damaged, teaching better farming methods, and helping people to find new ways of making a living.
“Droughts will continue to happen in East Africa, but we are doing everything we can to ensure that the impact is less severe next time round. The compassion of the Catholic community in England and Wales is making an enormous difference to the lives of hundreds of thousands of people.”