A HESWALL woman is helping to save the lives of millions of people caught up drought-ridden Africa.
Cate Turton, 42, is one of a team of advisors telling the British government where aid money should be spent and on what to help those caught up in the devastating humanitarian crisis unfolding in East Africa.
The area known as the “Horn of Africa” is experiencing its worst drought since 1995 and it is a situation that is costing lives – children are dying on a daily basis – and it is predicted to get worse.
Ethiopia, Kenya and Somalia are the worst hit but Somalia is also being ravaged by conflict which has forced thousands to flee, some travelling up to 15 days in search of sanctuary over the border.
Mrs Turton, who went to West Kirby Grammar School, has just visited a refugee camp in Dolo Ado, Ethiopia, where more than 100,000 have come in need of food, shelter, clean water and medical help.
Mrs Turton is based with her husband and two children, aged four and 14 months, in Addis Ababa – the capital of Ethiopia – but still has family in Heswall.
Mrs Turton said: “I’ve just spent three days in refugee camps on the Somalian border and seen fairly shocking things. People are arriving with absolutely nothing. Some have walked for 15 days and the children are starving, acutely malnourished.
“People are able to have one hot meal a day, but for someone who has spent 10 days walking it’s not enough. It’s one of the worse things I have seen.”
There are now five camps each the size of Goodison or Anfield, capable of holding 40,000 each and three are full.
She spoke to one Somalian woman whose child died on the journey to camp.
She said: “Inside Somalia children are dying in large numbers. ”