Community water tank, Waridaad village, Somaliland. Photo: Alun McDonald/Oxfam

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

6 July, 2011 | Conflict & Emergencies

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:


Drought Crisis in Africa

This is the worst crisis of the 21st Century. We should all be seriously concerned that large numbers of lives could soon be lost as a result of the continuing drought in Africa

industrial countries

And then those modern countries are lingering to support and help those poor victims of climate change which has been cause by industrial countries . What Claudia Ringler said makes me feel frustrated and upset because the weather and temperature have become worse than before which could repeat La Niña rapidly in less then 3 years .