Recovery efforts from East Africa’s drought continue. International Medical Corps operates in many of the drought-stricken areas, including Kenya, Somalia, and Ethiopia. Today, our focus is on creating sustainable solutions that will save lives in the future.
In Kenya, multiple rainwater harvesting projects will allow communities to gather and store rainwater, providing relief for both the population and their livestock. Prior to the installation of the rainwater harvesting systems, children would miss school as their families searched farther and farther from home for water. Livestock died from thirst, placing severe burdens on parents with families to feed. In these communities, water committees are developed through local leadership to establish a sustainable method of maintaining and sharing the systems.
In Ethiopia, our nutrition teams work to provide key information for caretakers on child nutrition. International Medical Corps teaches preventative strategies of malnutrition, stopping the problem before it starts. Adjacent to this, International Medical Corps also provides emergency feeding programs which offer therapeutic nutrition and essential nutrition support to households.
In Somalia, International Medical Corps improved access to safe water supply through rehabilitation of water sources. Berkhads are traditional water reservoirs that in many areas of Somalia are the only source of water for households and livestock in the dry season. They are manmade and usually sunk into the ground with a stone or brick wall and then plastered to minimize water leakage. They catch rain water and runoff in the rainy season and this water is then used through the dry season.
However, many berkhads are cracked from poor maintenance, allowing the leakage of precious water. Most berkhads are not fenced, allowing animals to drink directly from them and risking contamination of water. Neither are most berkhads covered, which also increases risk of contamination as well as increasing water loss through evaporation. By rehabilitating these berkhads to address these issues, access to clean water has dramatically increased and enabled improvement of both household health and the health of the livestock these households depend on for food and income.
International Medical Corps’ response to the East Africa drought continues. There is still work to be done in these countries, and we appreciate every dollar donated to our efforts. Without you, our accomplishments would not be possible. Thank you!