The Irish rain cloud sends some love to East Africa. Bluefingers has teamed up with the Irish Red Cross in an attempt to raise awareness and money for the East African Drought Crisis. 50% of all sales of our Classic Black & White T-shirts goes to supports the work the Irish Red Cross are doing in East Africa at the moment.

The countries of Kenya, Uganda, Somalia, Ethiopia and Dijbouti are facing a devastating drought with little but food and water distribution programs standing in the way of starvation. Most people in the region are already poor and living directly off the land. They cannot expect to grow their own food again until, at the earliest, 2012 when the rains may return. Until then, they are completely dependent on aid provisions. The lowest rainfall in 60 years, civil war and rocketing food prices are combining to force ten million people to the brink of famine and starvation. The worst hit are the children. They are arriving at refugee centres severely dehydrated and malnourished. Cattle and goats are dying. Crops are long dead. The Irish Red Cross say they haven’t seen anything as bad as this since 1984 and we worry that it is going to get worse.

In Kenya – home of the world’s largest refugee camp – the local Red Cross society is hard at work keeping the disaster at bay wherever they can.

The Kenyan Red Cross has already rehabilitated 9 boreholes giving water to 85,585 people and their livestock. Now they plan to:
Supply clean and safe water for 250,000 people
Provide supplementary food (intensive nutrition) for 20,000 school children in Marsarbit, Waji, Garissa
Distribute drought resistant seeds to farmers in the Tana River area
Truck in 24 million litres of water across the region, regenerate pipe lines and boreholes and wells to help people develop a more secure water supply.

In Somalia, the local society volunteers are working amongst their drought stricken and war torn communities. They are providing mobile health teams, medicine, nutrition and food to children under 5, pregnant and nursing mothers. Helping communities to recover their crops, water supplies and livestock and to be more resilient to the drought/flooding cycle.

All local Red Cross societies in East Africa are looking to their own people and to the world. They need our support and practical aid to stop people dying of hunger, thirst and disease. Please give what you can today. The International Red Cross is responding now. Water is being delivered to 5,000 people in Kenya, food aid is being given to families, mobile health teams are working in Somalia.