In recent years the drought in the Horn of Africa has only been worsening. With below average rainfall expected over April, May and June 2023 from the seasonal rains, this would mean a sixth consecutive failed rainy season for the region. Families across the region are taking drastic action to survive. Many are leaving their homes in search of food and water.

As of 2023, 30 million people have been affected by the drought. 560,000 people have been forced to leave their homes in search of food, water and pastures. Nearly 10 million are living in crisis, emergency, and catastrophic levels of food insecurity. Lack of resources can then cause conflict and inter-communal violence between communities as tensions rise.

Samira and her six children are just one of the families displaced by the crisis.

Woman and six children outside a shelter in Ethiopia
Icon Info
Samira and her six children outside their temporary shelter

“It is difficult to protect my family as I have nothing”

When asking Samira about her life before being forced to flee, she explained, “It was good. We used to have livestock and farmland.”

Due to the failed rainy season, conflict arose in Samira’s area which forced her and her family to flee. When describing her journey to the Internally Displaced Persons (IDP) camp where they are now staying, she said, “When traveling on the road, we faced problems such as thirst and hunger.”

“This is the first time I have been displaced. Sometimes it’s difficult to adapt to the weather conditions. It’s difficult to protect my family as I have nothing.”

Adapting to the Somalia region has not been easy for Samira and her children. “We are facing challenges since arriving here. Sometimes it’s difficult to adjust to the weather and my children fall sick.”

Aid outside a shelter in Ethiopia
Icon Info
Two of Samira's children with some of the aid they received

Receiving help from ShelterBox

For ShelterBox’s fifth project in Ethiopia, we have been working with our partners IOM to support 12,000 of the most vulnerable displaced people in Ethiopia. People have received items such as tarpaulins, rope, wash basins, blankets, sleeping mats, mosquito nets, and many more. Samira and her children are one of the families we were able to help.

ShelterBox, together with IOM, provided Samira and her family with a mix of emergency shelter support and household items. Samira said. “I have been here [IDP camp] for five to six months. We have only received support from IOM and ShelterBox.”

“When I received the items from you, I felt good. Now we can fetch water using the jerrycan and utilise the materials for our needs. I received two plastic tarpaulin sheets which protect me and my family from the harsh weather conditions.”

Woman outside a shelter in Ethiopia
Icon Info
Samira outside her temporary shelter

Looking ahead

Currently Samira is earning money through collecting wood. “I am not doing much, just selling wood that I collect from the wild.”

Samira concluded the interview by telling us about her hopes for the future.

“I am hoping to have/build a permanent house.”

Drought and starvation have created a crisis in the Horn of Africa. Click below to learn more about the crisis, and how ShelterBox is helping.

Learn More