“Water is life for the world” — East Africa one year later

Blogs, Emergencies article written on the 05 Jul 2012

Photo: Kieran Doherty/Oxfam

In mid-2011 a major food crisis affecting 13 million people was declared across parts of East Africa. Livestock died, harvests failed, and families’ livelihoods were destroyed as a result of the region’s worst drought in 60 years. Tens of thousands of people are believed to have died.

A year ago, we announced our East Africa food crisis appeal, asking for donations to support our response to this massive emergency. Thanks to the generosity of supporters like you, we’ve been able to reach more than 2.8 million people across Somalia, Kenya and Ethiopia with safe water, sanitation, cash and other support.

Although the crisis is far from over, and rebuilding lives and livelihoods will take years, moments like those captured in this incredible video of a Turkana community celebrating a borehole we installed for them are a vivid reminder of how together, we can make a difference.

Thank you for your support of the East Africa appeal. This video and accompanying photos below are for you!

Photo: Kieran Doherty/Oxfam

Photo: Kieran Doherty/Oxfam

Ipoo Ngachara (55, left) and Loita-Kori Napoti (57) sing and dance in the village of Nawoyatir in Turkana, north Kenya. They’re celebrating the construction of a borehole in their village, which has brought them easily accessible, clean water.

Emmanuel Ekai (8) and other children collect fresh water from the borehole to drink as it's piped out for the first time. Photo: Kieran Doherty/Oxfam

Photo: Kieran Doherty/Oxfam

Emmanuel Ekai (8) and other children collect fresh water from the borehole to drink as it’s piped out for the first time.

Photo: Kieran Doherty/Oxfam

Photo: Kieran Doherty/Oxfam

The women of Nawoyatir village sing and dance in celebration of the arrival of clean water. The community is overjoyed to have easy access to this vital resource. Says Helen Ewoton (front): “When we sing, it just comes into our minds, because whatever we do the song just comes by itself….Water is life for the world.”

Photo: Kieran Doherty/Oxfam

Photo: Kieran Doherty/Oxfam

The source of all the celebrations: a newly built waterpoint.

Photo: Kieran Doherty/Oxfam

Photo: Kieran Doherty/Oxfam

Children play in the borehole’s fresh water as it is sprayed from a pipe.

Photo: Kieran Doherty/Oxfam

Photo: Kieran Doherty/Oxfam

Village women celebrating the arrival of clean water.

Photo: Kieran Doherty/Oxfam

Photo: Kieran Doherty/Oxfam

No longer forced to walk hours each day to fetch water, Ipoo Ngachara can now collect it straight from the borehole.

Photo: Kieran Doherty/Oxfam

Photo: Kieran Doherty/Oxfam

Helen Ewoton with a jerry can full of fresh bore water.

Find out more

See more of Kieran Doherty’s amazing photos on Flickr.
Read about our response in East Africa