Drought in the Horn of Africa: The challenge to respond with a mindset of emergency

This content is in English.

A couple of weeks ago, I visited Borana area in Southern Ethiopia. I travelled to the different Kebeles “villages” of Yabello, Miyo, Elowaye and Moyale districts. One can easily witness the distress on people, livestock and the entire natural environment. Water wells (Ella) have dried up.

In pockets where small ponds still contain some moisture (from last year’s rain), you will see huge crowds – putting immense pressure on scanty resources. Locals told us, herds come from the neighbouring villages of Kenya. It’s dreadful to see abnormally skinny and weak cattle.

On the face of the natives, hopelessness, fatigue, frustration, and signs of desperations are all common signs to notice. The situation got worse with tribal conflicts disrupting the normal life.

There are only few international organizations responding to the crisis in the region while government, better than before, tops up its effort to address the most basic needs with its limited resources.

The needs are huge: food, water, fodder, health package, protection, etc. Rapid responses are far too slow…processes to raise resources have become too inefficient. I wonder how the international community would be able to respond to this alarming disaster with a mindset of emergency.


Assegid T. Gedamu, HEKS-EPER Country Director


Check out the special page about the ACT response in the Horn of Africa here

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