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Fighting the impacts of drought in Kenya

Makena Mwobobia – Head of Programmes, ActionAid Kenya

More than 3 million people in Kenya are impacted by the drought across East Africa, with the worst affected living in the arid and semi-arid lands across the country. The rains have been depressed over the past year and pastoralists are very badly impacted, their livelihoods destroyed and their families suffering. FIfteeen of the 23 arid and semi-arid counties are now in the emergency category. The priority now is to save lives and livelihoods.

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If you've been watching the news recently, you'll have seen the catastrophic effects that drought is having on lives and livelihoods in East Africa at the moment. The rains have failed, and as a result crops and livestock have been wiped out - leaving the people who depend on them on the brink of famine. 

The link between drought and hunger is horribly clear. But drought also increases the risk of another kind of danger, which is often more hidden and less talked about: the risk of violence against women and girls (VAWG). This World Water Day, find out why drought is making women and girls in East Africa more vulnerable to violence. 

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We need to help people at risk of famine, before it's too late

Sadia Abdi Alin – ActionAid Somaliland Country Director

The last time Somalia experienced famine, in 2011, a quarter of a million people died. As the risk of famine looms again, Sadia Abdi Alin, the Country Director of ActionAid Somaliland, the region of Somalia where ActionAid works, blogs about the devastating impact that hunger is having on communities, and how people in the UK can help before it is too late. 

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Children tackle tax in class

Daniel Wardle – Schools team

Tax can be complicated, but it’s important for every citizen to understand what it’s used for and how it works. This is why ActionAid UK and our partners SAPERE have developed Philosophy for Children (P4C) resources that encourage children to discuss tax and the issues which surround it. 

The children of Elm Class at St Nicholas’ School in Oxford invited us along to hear what they had to say on the subject.

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“Right now, hunger is wrenching apart whole communities and it is women and girls who are in the most danger.” This is the stark assessment of Sadia Abdi, ActionAid’s Country Director in Somaliland. Somalia, where ActionAid works in the region of Somaliland, is at significant risk of famine, with 6.2 million people in urgent need of humanitarian aid. These photos show the impact that the East Africa crisis is already having on women and girls, and why we must act now to save lives. 

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East Africa faces catastrophic famine - we must act now

Mike Noyes – Head of Humanitarian Response

In Somalia, 110 people died in two days at the start of March as a result of the ongoing drought, according to the Somali Prime Minister. These deaths should have been entirely preventable. Droughts don’t kill people, droughts don’t have to become a famine or a crisis. What kills people in a drought is a lack of food or water. We can’t make it rain, we can’t change the weather, but we can stop people going hungry and thirsty. It is simply a matter of political will, resources and funding. Today, that will seems to be lacking. It risks condemning thousands to a slow, painful, unnecessary death in a catastrophic famine.