Relief Group: Hike in Water Price Leaves Many Africans Desperate

A drastic shortfall of expected rain this year resulted in a spike in prices for basic necessities that left millions of people in East Africa having to choose between food or water, reported a relief group.

"In most areas, they used to buy a can of water for ten cents. Now they pay a dollar for it," said Jacob Kramer of Christian Reformed World Relief Committee to Mission Network News. "If you live on a dollar a day, you have to choose between water and food."

Because of the lack of rain, there was an 80 percent shortfall in crops in East Africa this season.

While another rain season is expected in November and December, that rainfall only accounts for about 30 percent of the crop growth a year and is therefore fairly minor in terms of food contribution.

The World Food Program reports that in Kenya about 2.5 million people are receiving emergency food aid, but the worsening drought added another 1.3 million people who now also need help.

"People are saying it is the worst drought since 2000," said WFP spokeswoman Gabrielle Menezes, according to BBC news.

To put things in perspective concerning the drought, in Britain, an average person uses about 40 gallons of water a day. By comparison, many people in East Africa are forced to get by on only 1.3 gallons of water a day. In developed countries, just flushing the toilet uses about that amount of water.

CRWRC is helping the people in East Africa by distributing food and by running seed and farming programs.