Extreme weather brings chronic crises for families in East Africa

Places like Kenya and Somalia have been devastated by extreme weather in the past few years. Not only do families live in ongoing drought, but more recently, flooding has decimated the sparse conditions that remained in Somalia.

According to a recent article in Phys.org, “catastrophic weather events are occurring in Somalia with ever-greater fury and frequency, trapping millions in a near-constant cycle of crisis.”

A group of children seek shelter under sparse brush in Northern Kenya's extreme weather.
A group of children seek shade in the heat of the day in Northern Kenya.

According to Bloomberg, the result of drought in Kenya is that the nation’s economic growth has slowed. But the reduced production of key crops doesn’t just mean there is less food to eat; it also causes price hikes for the food that remains.

It’s enough to break a person’s spirit. A kick in the gut for the poor and displaced.

The WHY of World Concern

This is why World Concern works in these places. Among the most desperate. In the most remote and dangerous places. The places and people whose chronic need has worn out the average nightly news watcher and made them indifferent.

A group of women walking in an IDP camp in Somalia's extreme weather.
A group of women walk through a camp for families who have left their homes in search of help in Somalia.

“The increasing frequency of droughts and other extreme weather events has eroded families’ ability to recover,” said Maggie Konstanski, Deputy Director Disaster Response for World Concern. “Families are facing hunger, displacement, and uncertain futures. We expect that these conditions will worsen in the coming years. It is critical that we equip families to overcome these shocks and build resilience to cyclical drought and extreme weather events.”

In the face of ongoing need, God desires that we continue to give. His Word says,

“He does not neglect the poor or ignore their suffering; he does not turn away from them, but answers when they call for help.” Psalm 22:24

Where is God in extreme weather?

“So, why doesn’t God do something?” some might ask.

He is doing something—through us! His plan is for His body (believers in Jesus) to be His hands and feet in this world—His way of meeting these needs. His physical arms of love wrapping around people in need and giving them what they are desperate to have. Even when their need never seems to go away. Because every single person counts. And we are reaching people, one by one.

As you take action to meet someone’s needs, it affects their family and their community. And the impact of that action grows. Because, when physical needs are met, spiritual questions and realities are able to be addressed. And men, women, and children are learning about a God who loves them and wants to meet the deepest needs of their souls.

There is a direct connection between meeting physical needs and hearts opening to the Good News about the love of God.

This month we’re focusing on the impact safe, clean water can have on lives and families. One way you can help is by giving a $39 water filter. Find out more HERE.

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Elizabeth Griffin

Elizabeth Griffin is the Senior Writer for World Concern.

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