Seeing drought and hunger in East Africa

After years of conflict in South Sudan and drought in Somalia, Ethiopia and Kenya, 25 million people in East Africa are facing a hunger crisis. When hearing numbers that large, it can be hard for us to imagine what that means. These photos give you a look into the crisis and the impact it has on people’s lives.

Water tracking in Puntland. World Vision has been able to provide clean water to 10,400 people in Jariban District, Puntland

Somalia has suffered from three years of drought. Crops and livestock have died from the lack of water, leaving millions without food. In Puntland, Somalia, World Vision trucks in clean water to provide for families displaced and affected by the drought. © World Vision / Abdirahman Abdilaih Muse. 

Photographer's notes: IDP Mother interviewed on video. She is living in World Vision-built housing, built during the 2011 famine. She has had to take on extra family members during the current famine. 19 people living in one house.During the famine of 2011, World Vision built housing to provide shelter and protection for displaced families. This mother lives with her family in one of these houses, having been displaced themselves. Due to the current food crisis, their other family members have come to live with them, packing 19 family members into one house. © World Vision / Maxwell Moser. 

Baby Charity Asibitar, 8 months, sitting on a hospital bed, did not pass the appetite test at a Ready-to-use Therapeutic Food distribution in Lokichoggio in Turkana, Kenya and was admitted to the hospital for treatment. A German NGO supplies the Lopiding Sub County Hospital with F75 and F100 fortified milk which is being administered to baby Charity. She will be put on F75 for three days and then go onto F100, say the nutritionists. The family lives near Nardome in Turkana and has been affected by the ongoing drought in East Africa. If Charity had passed the appetite test, she would have been given sachets of Ready-to-use Therapeutic Food, or Plumpy'nut, provided by World Vision. World Vision's nutritionist in Turkana, June Cherutich, works with the clinics in the area to ensure they have a steady supply of RUTF and Corn Soya Blend for pregnant and lactating mothers.8-month-old Charity was admitted to a hospital in Turkana, Kenya to be treated for acute malnutrition. While admitted, Charity will be administered fortified milk until she is healthy enough to leave and receive Ready-to-use Therapeutic food to eat at home. In East Africa, 3.5 million children like Charity suffer from acute malnutrition. © World Vision / Jon Warren. 

Dividing up their share of cooking oil. Scenes from a food distribution at Naapong Food For Assets site in Turkana, Kenya. There has been very little rain in Turkana, with drought cycles becoming more and more frequent. World Vision Area Program Manager in Turkana, Joseph Adome says that it rained just 100 milliliters in 2016 in the county. Normal rainfall is 500 milliliters. Immediate action is needed to respond to 276,200 people who face starvation in Turkana. This food distribution, run by World Vision’s Fred Mzee in the orange shirt, began with prayer. The food had been trucked in and each bag counted by the community relief committee. That committee can only accept food shipments that are complete. Fred explained who would be receiving food as part of the Food For Assets project, how a new registration would be done for the next rainy season, and how people would be chosen from the most vulnerable. The community had decided that the most vulnerable people were those who had lost animals in raids, orphans and widows, and finally, the elderly. Then Fred explained how the 160 people participating would gather in groups of 10 around 16 piles of food. They would divide the maize and USAID-provided vegetable oil into portions to take home. Those who live the farthest away would receive food first so they could get home in safety. Community members in vests were prepared to settle disputes. A community help desk would register any complaints about the food or the process. “This is a result of the work you have done with the garden,” said Fred of the food for assets project in Naapong. World Vision Kenya is serving communities in Turkana Kenya through livelihood and resilience programs that provide food for assets, such as improved farming techniques for 6,666 households, and using Empowered Worldview to help keep communities focusing forward. “A long time ago, this land was used for small gardens,” says community leader Christopher Amodoi, 35. “Women plantCooking oil is divided up for each family at the Naapong Food for Assets site, run by World Vision in Turkana, Kenya. Immediate action is needed to respond to the 276,200 people who face starvation in Turkana. © World Vision / Jon Warren. 

The carcasses of dead animals line the road between Lodwar and Lokori in south Turkana, a cry for help from those who live there. Dry land, dying and dead animals, conflict, have changed the song of Turkana. Now women are carrying dead animal carcasses and singing, “We are dying and Kenya is just thinking about elections. But we are dying.” Communities are lining the dilapidated roads with animal carcasses to express their plight. Turkana County, in northwest Kenya, is littered with the carcasses of dead animals—cows, donkeys, sheep, and goats. Many animals died last year and surviving animals are emaciated and weak. There has been very little rain in Turkana, with drought cycles becoming more and more frequent. World Vision Area Program Manager in Turkana, Joseph Adome says that it rained just 100 milliliters in 2016 in the county. Normal rainfall is 500 milliliters. Immediate action is needed to respond to 276,200 people who face starvation in Turkana. The drought has led to conflict and insecurity. Chief Michael Losiru of Nanaam, near Lokichoggio, says people are living in fear of the raiders that steal livestock. The chief was weak and discouraged after trying to foil a recent livestock robbery in which 275 cows, goats, and sheep were taken by raiders. Five people—two women and three men—were killed during the raid. World Vision has worked in Turkana since 1974. Today, World Vision Kenya is serving communities in Turkana through cash transfers for 400 households, livelihood and resilience programs that provide food for assets, such as farming using zaipits for 6,666 households, health, through Ready-to-use therapeutic food such as Plumpy’Nut and Plumpy’Sup for under 5s, Corn Soya Blend for pregnant and nursing mothers, and HIV prevention and treatment, and using Empowered Worldview to help keep communities focusing forward. World Vision distributes food from the World Food Program to Kakuma Refugee Camp, established in 1992 for refugees of Sudan.The carcasses of dead animals line the road between Lodwar and Lokori in south Turkana, Kenya, a cry for help from those who live there. © World Vision / Jon Warren. 

Families leave World Vision food distribution with bags of maize and cans of cooking oil. Scenes from a food distribution at Naapong Food For Assets site in Turkana, Kenya. There has been very little rain in Turkana, with drought cycles becoming more and more frequent. World Vision Area Program Manager in Turkana, Joseph Adome says that it rained just 100 milliliters in 2016 in the county. Normal rainfall is 500 milliliters. Immediate action is needed to respond to 276,200 people who face starvation in Turkana. This food distribution, run by World Vision’s Fred Mzee in the orange shirt, began with prayer. The food had been trucked in and each bag counted by the community relief committee. That committee can only accept food shipments that are complete. Fred explained who would be receiving food as part of the Food For Assets project, how a new registration would be done for the next rainy season, and how people would be chosen from the most vulnerable. The community had decided that the most vulnerable people were those who had lost animals in raids, orphans and widows, and finally, the elderly. Then Fred explained how the 160 people participating would gather in groups of 10 around 16 piles of food. They would divide the maize and USAID-provided vegetable oil into portions to take home. Those who live the farthest away would receive food first so they could get home in safety. Community members in vests were prepared to settle disputes. A community help desk would register any complaints about the food or the process. “This is a result of the work you have done with the garden,” said Fred of the food for assets project in Naapong. World Vision Kenya is serving communities in Turkana Kenya through livelihood and resilience programs that provide food for assets, such as improved farming techniques for 6,666 households, and using Empowered Worldview to help keep communities focusing forward. “A long time ago, this land was used for small gardens,” says commuA family heads home with bags of maize and cans of cooking oil from a World Vision food distribution centre. There has been very little rain the past few years. This region saw only 100 millilitres of rain in 2016, compared to the annual average of 500 millilitres, leaving hundreds of thousands facing a hunger crisis. © World Vision / Jon Warren

Nicodemus Erupe, 56, chaiman (wearing hat and orange vest) and relief committee members walk through the Songot water catchment project, past big water tanks and empty fields to rain catchment dams. When there is rain, these irrigats a huge agricultural program, but because of the drought, the water reservoirs are empty and the fields bare. “Listen, we are dying. And Kenya is just thinking about elections. But we are dying,” sing the women of Songot, near Lokichoggio in Turkana Kenya. The women dance in the heat, holding the skins of animals high, including a dead donkey. “This is the first time we have sung this song,” says Selina Naperit, representing the community relief committee. “We are facing danger. We are facing the danger of death.” She points to the hills that that lead to Uganda. “People over the hill are waiting to die. They have lost hope. People moved there looking for grass. They have not come back.” She pauses. “We used to believe God brought rain. Now God has taken so long.” The families are part of a World Vision-supported Food for Assets project. There are 42 such sites across Turkana, benefitting 6,666 households and 40,000 people. The project, started initially by the Turkana Rehabilitation Project gathers people together to farm. World Vision has supplied a water tank and trough for animals. “We have prepared the land because we believe that one day it will rain. Then we will grow crops. When it rains, we will compose songs of Thanksgiving.” Songot Nicodemus Erupe, 56, chaiman. Relief Committee woman: Selina NaperitNicodemus Erupe, 56, wearing the hat and orange vest, walks through the Songot water catchment project with another member of the relief committee, past large water tanks and dams, which collect and store rainwater. When there is rain, the water irrigates a huge agricultural programme. With the drought, the reservoirs are empty and the fields are bare. © World Vision / Jon Warren

Susanna at the Lologo training center in urban Juba. World Vision is helping people in urban Juba overcome food insecurity and economic crisis by offering training programmes. 1,080 beneficiaries receive cash for training here. They get the money to purchase food for their families or invest in a business and learn valuable skills (vocational, hygiene, food preparation, farming, etc). SEE ALSO D363-0097. Susanna's story: Susanna’s children had already grown up and left the home when the mother of three was suddenly left with raising another three babies. After an attack on her village that left both her daughter and son-in-law dead, Susanne found herself alone with her three grandchildren. "There were guns everywhere and while my grandchildren and I hid in the house, the rest of my family was killed," she recalls. "I ran away the following day with the children, knowing that it would be better for us to find refuge in the capital." Today, Susanna lives in a small house in the outskirts of Juba, raising two kindergarten-aged children and an elementary school boy. "The children don't quite know what happened to their parents, but I don't want to tell them either," she explains. Until recently, Susanna's only income was generated through collecting and selling firewood--a common practise in South Sudan. One morning, on her way to the market, the now mother of three came across several of her neighbours, heading to one of World Vision's training centres. "They encouraged me to join and see if I could register and participate, too," she explains. "I hadn't seen anything like it when I first joined: over a hundred women had come together to share experiences and learn new skills." Three months later, Susanna has become part of the weekly educational lessons and is a registered member of the cash for training programme, where she received a monthly allowance to purchase food for her family and invest in a business. "I've already made a lot of changes in ourSusanna visits the Lologo training centre in urban Juba, where she learns new farming skills and techniques. World Vision is helping people in urban Juba to overcome food insecurity and economic crisis by offering training programmes. 1,080 beneficiaries receive cash for training here. They get money to purchase food for their families or invest in a business while learning valuable skills. © World Vision / Maxwell Moser

Photographer's notes: Family who has benefited from the FEED programme. They have about 6 children, none of whom had been in school prior to involvement in the FEED programme. They were struggling with hunger--they are still struggling do to the current crisis, but are now better prepared to make their own food, and the kids are now in school. Video interviews captured with mother, father, and eldest son, who is in school.Through FEED (Fortifying Equality and Economic Diversity), families are trained in new farming and agriculture skills in order to increase food security among vulnerable communities. This family has benefited from the FEED programme. They were struggling with hunger, and are still struggling a bit due to the crisis, but are now better prepared to produce their own food. © World Vision / Maxwell Moser. 

When Mushtar was rushed to the clinic, she was significantly underweight and malnourished. She was given emergency medication and high energy biscuits – cookies that are fortified with protein, vitamins and minerals. It saved her life. World Vision, together with the World Food Programme, has provided 16,612 children and 5,684 mothers with ready use supplementary foods and a monthly rations of nutrition packs jammed full of protein, vitamins and essential minerals to help malnourished children gain weight and become healthy.When Mushtar was rushed to the clinic, she was significantly underweight and malnourished. She was given emergency medication and high energy biscuits – fortified with protein, vitamins and minerals. It saved her life. World Vision, together with the World Food Programme, has provided 16,612 children and 5,684 mothers with ready-to-use supplementary foods and a monthly ration of nutrition packs full of protein, vitamins, and essential minerals to help malnourished children gain weight and become healthy. © World Vision / Mark Nonkes

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