Aid agency launches emergency appeal for East Africa
Christian Aid has launched an emergency appeal for East Africa where millions of people are facing starvation after the regionís worst drought in years.
The United Nations says 11 million people are at risk in Kenya, Somalia, Ethiopia, Tanzania and Djibouti.
Domimic Nutt, Christian Aidís emergencies specialist is in the region to document a first hand account of the worsening crisis and reports people begging for water by the side of the road and children walking for miles in search of something to drink.
Because of the security situation in Somalia, very few accounts of the suffering there are reaching Britain the aid agency says.
ìThis is a crisis on the verge of becoming a catastrophe,î Dominic Nutt said.
ìThere are dead cattle everywhere and people have sold everything they have to buy food. These are the last few weeks that many people are going to be able to survive without help.î
The aid operation in Somalia is particularly dangerous. There is no central government in the country which is fragmented into several clan-based factions. Across the region Christian Aid offices have received reports of people dying of thirst, while up to 70 per cent of livestock have been lost as the predominately pastoralist communities move their cattle in a desperate search for food and water.
But the watering holes have dried up and food and animal fodder are scarce across the region.
Food, water and humanitarian aid must reach those affected by the crisis urgently if widespread starvation is to be avoided aid workers say.
Christian Aid is already working with partners across East Africa in Kenya, Ethiopia, Somalia and Tanzania to provide immediate aid.