The effects of drought in East Africa: 7.5 liters of water per person per day

Joel M Bassuk

Blog post by Joel M Bassuk

Oxfam International, Social Media Manager
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After nearly 11 months without a drop of rain, all of the traditional water sources in Waridaad village, Somaliland, dried up. Oxfam partners Havoyoco have been trucking in clean water every day. The water is pumped into these community tanks, from where each family queues up to fill their jerrycans.

Ibrahim Harir Deria coordinates Havoyoco’s water trucking: “We are suffering from consecutive drought. Last year was ok, but before that there was a drought. It is getting more common. The lack of pasture is the father of many things – it causes disease and malnutrition.

"There are four trucking centers in the village, each serving 140 households – so 560 families in total. Each household gets 45 liters of water per day – about 7.5 liters per person."

Did you catch that? 7.5 liters per person.

To put this in perspective: estimates of water usage at home per day for the average person in the US range from 80-100 gallons, up to 123 gallons – or 466 liters per day. Between 50 - 100 liters of water per person per day are considered needed to ensure the most basic needs.

Oxfam is helping communities look for more sustainable sources of water, by drilling boreholes, developing motorized water programs and improving traditional water harvesting systems. In the driest and worst affected areas we have been trucking in emergency water supplies.

Oxfam is appealing for $80 million -- our largest ever appeal for Africa. Please donate: www.oxfam.org/eastafrica