A woman and a man from the Borena tribe drive sheep and goats across parched, stony ground in Dire District in the southern Oromiya Region, one of the areas hardest hit by the drought. They are making their way to wells in the Goraye Crater, one of the few remaining water sources in the district. Traditional water sources have dried up as a result of the drought, forcing pastoralist communities to walk vast distances in search of remaining functioning wells..
In January 2006 in Ethiopia, some 1.75 million people are facing starvation and disease and more than 737,000 urgently need water as a result of severe and worsening drought in the Horn of Africa. Two years of failed rains have led to water scarcity, crop failures and livestock deaths. More than 8 million people in Ethiopia, Kenya, Somalia and Djibouti now require emergency humanitarian assistance. Some 1.5 million children under age five are especially at risk. In Ethiopia's Somali and Oromiya regions, more than 56,000 children under five face increased malnutrition. Measles is also on the rise. As families move in search of food, children are forced to drop out of school. UNICEF has launched an appeal for US $16 million to fund emergency drought relief across the region over the next three months. Working with Governments, the World Food Programme, NGOs and other partners, UNICEF is supporting therapeutic and supplementary feeding programmes; the provision of safe water and sanitation, immunization and vitamin A; and protection and education initiatives. Additionally, in Ethiopia, UNICEF is supporting a measles vaccination campaign targeting more than 750,000 children under five.