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What It's Like to Really be Thirsty

As I sit here, I feel thirsty. I finished my glass of water about 45 minutes ago and haven’t yet made it to the kitchen to refill it, because when I start working on a project, I don’t like to leave my desk until I’m finished.

So here I sit—my lips a little dry (typical for arid, desert winters) and my mouth craving more water—I ponder what it would be like to be really and truly thirsty

I don’t know real thirst. The longest I go without the water is the hours my body is sleeping. I have a water bottle in my car, three on my desk, a sparkling water tap at home, a regular water tap at home, a shower head, a toilet, a bathroom sink, a jug of distilled water in my refrigerator, an excellent sprinkler system outside, a water cooler in the office, a water fountain on every building in my city. Even though I live in a desert, I’m surrounded by water. It’s accessible and often free.

Wherever you live, I bet you have similar benefits.

But what if you didn’t.

Sendabie Hamda earns her income through farming and cattle raising, both of which are incredibly difficult during this El Niño drought.

Sendabie Hamda earns her income through farming and cattle raising, both of which are incredibly difficult during this El Niño drought.

Sendabie Hamda, a 55-year-old mother of seven, is thirsty. Really, and actually thirsty. The closest water to her home is three hours away. That’s water to drink and bathe and feed to her cattle, her livelihood. Sendabie lives in Zeway, Ethiopia, a region severely affected by the El Niño drought, the worst drought in Ethiopia in 30 years.

For the last two years, Sendabie said there’s not be enough rain to grow any crops. She experienced only a few days of light showers and then… nothing.

“I have four goats and three cows,” Sendabie said. “I lost one goat, one cow and one heifer due to animal disease following the drought. Look, the ponds are dried up and there’s no other water source in the village. Therefore, we are forced to drive our cattle for hours to Lake Zeway to water them. We are also forced to walk more than three hours to get drinking water.”

This is thirst.

FH is trying to help quench the issue. FH is partnering with several organization to distribute water in Sendabie’s area and restore water schemes so that the communities will have better access. Some of these organziations are Japan Food for the Hungry International and Transform Aid out of Australia. You can help quench the thirsty too; click here to find out more.