Drought in Africa – What Can We Do?


The images and stories coming out of the horn of Africa are gripping and heart wrenching. Families leaving the famine and political turmoil in Somalia for the UN refugee camps of north east Kenya only to have family members die along the way. There are far too common stories of mothers giving their food supply to their children, then the mothers die from hunger before they reach help. These stories should not be common at all…but they are a daily occurrence in this region.

And once they arrive in Dadaab, they are faced with the grim reality that they are not alone in their struggle for the basic necessities of life that we take for granted – food, water and shelter. More than 1300 arrive daily to scorched conditions in the camps in Dadaab. Camps originally designed to hold 90,000 people now house nearly 400,000.

The past two rainy seasons have not produced any significant precipitation making this the worst drought in 60 years. Lack of water, food insecurity and political turmoil make this the perfect storm for disaster affecting millions of people. This humanitarian crisis is poised to be the worst in recent memory possibly nearing the catastrophic level as the Ethiopian famine in 1984 in which 1 million people died.

This now begs the question, “What can we do?” First, pray for rain. Second, give. We are blessed to have Canadian Baptist Ministries (CBM) as our partner in international ministries who have been working with our partners in Kenya for many years to help to address issues of food security, health and community development. Through CBM and our field staff on the ground in Kenya, we will continue to assist existing partners (the Africa Brotherhood Church, Canadian Foodgrains Bank (CFGB) as well as a local community based organization in Garissa) as they come alongside those in great need (http://www.cbmin.org/cbm/KenyaDroughtRelief).

There are a few ways you can donate:

  • through your church (designate the funds for CBM, Kenya Drought Relief);
  • through the CABC office (designate the funds for CBM, Kenya Drought Relief);
  • through CBM’s website (https://www.cbmin.org/cbm/donate);
  • or by calling CBM 905-821-3533

On top of the additional $50 million designated, the Canadian government is matching individual donations made during a 10 week period retroactive to July 6th. This includes donations to CBM and CFGB. Give now!

For more thoughts and insights, read Dr. Lois Mitchell’s blog post: http://cbmjustice.blogspot.com/2011/07/hunger-pains.html.

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