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Bilay Wardere | by Oxfam International
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Bilay Wardere

Bilay Wardere, from Kulaley Village, does not know her age – she says she is close to 100. There have been successive droughts for quite a long time in Kulaley Village.

 

"There is no soap, no milk or animals so basically we are reliant on relief food.

 

"I am losing my eyesight because there are not enough proteins and I am drinking black tea for the first time in my life. The situation is quite bad. When I was young I used to see animals, we had animals and things were good. It used to rain every now and then. There used to be a few months of drought and then there was some grass, things were good.

 

"But as time has gone by there are lots of settlements around, people have come into a centralized kind of livelihood and now, for the last 15 years we have seen these kinds of droughts. For the last 15 years my life has changed. The most vulnerable now are the elderly like me and the small children.

 

"It's now three months until the season when we're meant to get rains. Rain will come three months from now as that's how the calendar used to be but between now and then there's no livestock and if there's no rain, we will die.

 

"We are no longer worried about the livestock, I'm worried about my life and the life of the children, of human beings. The youth don't have a job so my eldest son who could be involved in a small business is idle."

 

Read more: East Africa food crisis

 

Credit: Anna Ridout/ Oxfam

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Taken on July 7, 2011