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Monday, August 8, 2011

Feeling Africa’s drought in Kenya and in the U.S.

By Michael Ireland
Senior Correspondent, ASSIST News Service

COLUMBUS, OH (ANS) -- Before coming to the U.S., Dahir Adan and his immediate family were in Kenya’s sprawling Dadaab refugee camps for 17 years.

Designed for 90,000 people, the camps’ population has quadrupled to

Sagul Mohammed Omar, 24, arrived with her five children in the Dadaab refugee camp in northeastern Kenya.
(Photo: Paul Jeffrey/ACT Alliance)

420,000 and continues to grow by 1,500 people daily as people stream in from famine-stricken southern Somalia.

Adan, 30, and his wife Fartun Muhumed, 26, are refugees from Somalia, resettled to the U.S. in February 2010 by Church World Service and Community Immigration and Refugee Services of Ohio.

They now live in Columbus, with their four small children, but they worry for their drought-afflicted relatives back home in the Horn of Africa.

“They have no shelter, no food, no clothes,” Fartun says. “In Somalia they depended on livestock and all the livestock they had perished due to the severe drought.”

The UNHCR reports that some 116,000 Somali refugees have arrived in Dadaab so far this year. About 76,000 of them arrived in Dadaab in the last two months alone.

Africa's drought affects more than 10 million people across Kenya, Somalia and Ethiopia.

CWS is helping 97,000 households in Kenya, providing emergency food, water and relief in addition to long-term support. CWS is also supporting the efforts of ACT Alliance and other partners working in the Dadaab camp, in Kenya, as well as those assisting drought-affected families in Somalia and Ethiopia.



** Michael Ireland is Senior Correspondent for ANS. He is an international British freelance journalist who was formerly a reporter with a London (United Kingdom) newspaper and has been a frequent contributor to UCB UK, a British Christian radio station. While in the UK, Michael traveled to Canada and the United States, Albania,Yugoslavia, Holland, Germany,and Czechoslovakia. He has reported for ANS from Jamaica, Mexico, Nicaragua, Israel, Jordan, China,and Russia. Michael's volunteer involvement with ASSIST News Service is a sponsored ministry department -- 'Michael Ireland Media Missionary' (MIMM) -- of A.C.T. International of P.O.Box 1649, Brentwood, TN 37024-1649, at: Artists in Christian Testimony (A.C.T.) International where you can donate online to support his stated mission of 'Truth Through Christian Journalism.' Michael is a member in good standing of the National Writers Union, Society of Professional Journalists, Religion Newswriters Association, Evangelical Press Association and International Press Association. If you have a news or feature story idea for Michael, please contact him at: ANS Senior Reporter

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