Seven million people, including over 700,000 refugees are in need of waster, sanitation and hygiene (WASH) services according to a United Nations report of 15 July 2011.
The drought affecting Kenya, Somalia, Ethiopia and Djibouti is being called the worst in 50 years. UN agencies have asked for US$ 1.6 billion to pay for essential programmes in the Horn of Africa, but have only received half that amount so far.
Water trucking is still needed in the driest areas as natural water points failed to refill sufficiently. Two million people have been given better access to safe drinking water so far in 2011.
Paradoxically, some areas in Ethiopia and Somalia are expected to receive above-normal rainfall in the June to September period. This is likely to increase the risk of flooding and subsequent outbreaks of waterborne diseases.