Climate Change Affects Children

The humanitarian situation in East Africa is deteriorating at an alarming rate, due to the severe drought caused by climate change. In 2017, the typically strong June-through-September rains were weak, leaving the region dry and barren.

“Our family used to have many livestock and seven camels, but now we just have three goats, said 11-year-old Ayan. Severe drought caused her family to lose their only source of food and income.

 “I miss drinking camels’ milk – I remember it was so delicious, but it’s too expensive to buy now. When I’m older I’d like to look after livestock like my family used to.”

With over 80% of the population dependent on rain to grow crops for food and income, millions of families and children are at risk of extreme hunger and malnutrition. This urgent crisis has already exceeded levels not seen since the Horn of Africa drought of 2011. 

  • 160 Million Children – Live in areas with high risk of flooding (delete period at end)
  • 20 Million Children – Live in at-risk areas in crisis-torn countries
  • 4 Million Children – Died from indoor air pollution-related causes
  • 70 Million Children – Live in at-risk areas without access to clean water
  • 50 Million Children – Live in poverty, their family earns less than $3.10/day
Nora and daughter her one year-old daughter are from the Maroodi Jeex region of Somaliland. Nora lives with her five children and husband. She says life is hard as the family earn two thirds less income as they did when they had more livestock.  Photo Credit: Felicity McCabe/Save the Children 2015.

Nora lives with her five children and husband in Bodale. She says life is hard as the family earn two thirds less income as they did when they had more livestock.“We moved 20 villages trying to find water before settling here. It was very hard but we had to do it to find water and keep as many of our livestock alive as possible. We used to have over 80 but now we have 26 – so many have died.” — Nora, 20-years-old, and her infant daughter Sahra.

Ahmed lives in a temporary settlement near Gargara with his family. He finds the extreme weather conditions hard to deal with. Like many young children, he wants to be active, play games and run around, but the lack of water often leaves him too weak to move. Photo Credit: Save the Children 2015.

“In the mornings I walk to near the mountains and try and feed the goats we have. We used to have hundreds of goats but now we just have 10. I also help my mother by collecting water. When it’s hot I get really thirsty but there isn’t much water. I can’t move or do anything when I’m thirsty. I just have to sit down. I’d like to play football but we don’t even have a ball to play with. I just feel disappointed all the time.” — Ahmed, 9 years old.

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