The Dangers of Drought
Patricia and her daughter Rachel, 8, draw
water from a deep, sandy well two-and-a-half miles from their home in Kenya's
Nzaui District. Photo by Jake Lyell.
summer is coming to an end in the United States, August remains one of the
hottest months of the year in many developing nations, particularly those in
sub-Saharan Africa. With higher temperatures comes the threat of extreme
drought. Without reliable water sources, millions of children and their
families' lives are at risk. ChildFund works in some of the world's poorest countries to combat the effects of drought,
but to continue this work, we need your help.
Countries in the Horn of Africa, including Kenya, Ethiopia and
Uganda, recently endured one of the
worst droughts in 60 years. When water sources dry up, families are often
forced to abandon their homes and embark on long, perilous journeys in search
of water — and many children do not survive these treks.
Ethiopia has been hit particularly hard by drought. Prolonged dry spells
caused by the atmospheric phenomenon known as La Niña disrupted two
rainy seasons in Ethiopia, resulting in withered crops. This, in turn, forced millions of
people to migrate to other areas where water supplies are more stable. In
Uganda, significantly reduced rainfall resulted in the destruction of
thousands of gardens, and many crops had to be harvested prematurely. As a
result, many families were faced with the prospect of depleting their food
supplies in as little as two months.
Children Hit Hardest
drought-stricken areas, it is often children under the age of 5 who are
affected the most severely. Without reliable water sources, children have to
drink water that is often dirty, increasing the likelihood of waterborne
"At times I lose hope because I know that these
diseases are caused by lack of safe water, but we don't have any alternative
but to drink the water," says Angeline, a
mother in Kenya's Emali district.
ChildFund works to provide
children in need and their families with access to clean water, particularly
in areas affected by drought. We give water storage vessels to schools and
villages to conserve rainwater during wet seasons, plus we dig boreholes that
allow communities to draw their own water. Making a donation to our Essentials for
Survivals fund is one way you can help us ensure that children have access
to water that is safe to drink. As a monthly giving partner, you'll receive
quarterly newsletters highlighting how your support is making a difference in
the lives of children in countries hit hardest by drought. Please consider
helping ChildFund make a difference in children's lives.