You have 0 items in your basket.
Donation Funnel
A mother and her two children in Somalia

East Africa droughts: A difficult, desperate and dire situation

East Africa is suffering from one of the worst droughts in history. 

A lack of rain for four consecutive seasons from late 2020 to August 2022 has meant that millions of farmers have lost their livelihoods in Somalia, Kenya and Ethiopia. 

Crop harvests have failed, and water sources have dried up. People are dying of starvation. Mothers are watching their children weaken from malnutrition and tragically pass away before their eyes. More than 18 million people do not know where their next meal is coming from. We cannot even imagine their pain. 

To make matters even worse, the Russia-Ukraine conflict has seen food prices soar, so even food items that are available are now out of reach for many families. 

Hundreds of thousands of women, men and children in Somalia and South-eastern Ethiopia have fled their homes, leaving behind their lives and belongings in desperate search of food and water. On top of severe hunger, weakness and exhaustion, many now lack shelter and are in urgent need of humanitarian aid. 

Filis’s story

It’s heartbreaking to hear the stories of those whose lives have been torn apart by the recent droughts.

One such story I came across is mother-of-seven Filis’ who lives in a camp in Nugal, Somalia. She was forced to flee her home with three of her children in search of food and water, and left behind her husband and the other children. 

Filis was forced to travel by donkey due to the high price of fuel. 

Her journey was extremely difficult, and she could only carry the most basic of belongings. 

‘’In my home there was no food and water and my children did not have anything to eat. Most of the time their only source of food is what generous families donate to us”, said Filis. 

‘’The lack of water in our area caused my children to fall sick and get diarrhoea because there is no clean water here. 

“Our animals no longer have any benefit and we have lost our livelihood. They no longer produce milk or meat, and they are getting weaker every day”, she said. 

‘’In this camp there is a severe shortage of food and we get just one meal per day. We have camped in shacks, but it is not reliable and not safe. When it gets dark during the night it is freezing.

‘’I know that my safety is not guaranteed here. 

‘’I have not received help from anyone, neither from the government or any other organisation. A couple days ago, one of my neighbours gave me three water canes (60 litres) to use”, she said. 

Despite her difficult situation, there are others facing an even bleaker fate than Filis. 

‘’The drought has led to lack of water, a lack of food and security. I am worried about my children who now have diarrhoea.

 “There are people here who are poorer and weaker than me and they have no one to help them”, said Filis. 

We’re doing what we can to help, but we urgently need your support.

Islamic Relief’s teams are on the ground and have been responding to the drought crisis since late 2021.

We are providing vulnerable families with food packages, water, hygiene and sanitation services. We’re also running health clinics to help treat malnourished children, as well as pregnant and lactating mothers. 

However, there are still tens of thousands of people like Filis who urgently need your help. Please donate to our East Africa Appeal now and help save lives. 

Quick donate