West Country unites to tackle East Africa famine

Somaliland has experienced drought for three years. Credit: ITV News

Across the West Country people are responding to an appeal to help the 20 million people affected by drought in East Africa, in what's being described as the worst humanitarian crisis in decades.

The Cornish charity Shelterbox is working in Somaliland where nomadic farming families are struggling to survive. Meanwhile the Somali community in Bristol is helping to raise money.

Many thousands of Somalis and Somalilanders have made their home in the streets around Stapleton Road. They've already managed to raise £5,000 in the last five days.

One man told ITV News, "basically the community is really concerned about this devastating drought. We've contributed as much as we can afford."

Another added, "the drought is natural disaster and children and vulnerable people are suffering - we try to help as much as we can."

The Deputy Mayor of Somaliland's capital city was in Bristol this week to ask for support. Abdiasis Mohamed Hashi explained the situation back home is desperate.

He issued this appeal: " "Please save the person of Somaliland people. If you save on person of Somaliland people, you save Somaliland nation altogether."

Cornish charity Shelterbox, which is working in Somaliland, has warned that governments and aid agencies have been too slow to realise the seriousness of the situation.

The charity is on the ground helping to create light shelters using tarpaulins, kitchen sets and mats.

Take a look at what life is like for one of the volunteers in Somaliland:

Read more here:

To make a donation to the DEC East Africa Appeal visit www.dec.org.uk or call the 24-hour hotline on 0370 60 60 610.

You can also donate £5 by texting the word SUPPORT to 70000 or make a donation over the counter at any high street bank or post office.