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Word Count: 862
More than twenty million people in the Horn of Africa are at risk of dying from starvation due the drought In Ethiopia each year as many as 250000 children die from hunger and malnutrition In 1994 the country faced a total collapse of its infrastructure More than eighty percent of the population lived off the land Harvests of crops such as maize and groundnuts were largely gone and thousands of cattle and other livestock had been parched with thirst Also most of the natural springs had dried up However people from all around the globe either pleaded ignorance or said It is none of my responsibility But we are all brothers one of another so we are obliged in conscience to help each other Id forgotten that I had even taken the Ethiopian volunteer recruitment test when that call came on a cold January day in 1994 Then standing in a battered wooden telephone booth in my military quarters in Cologne Germany I heard someone say Congratulations Youve been accepted Finally I was a volunteer in Ethiopia During a period of six weeks we built up new artesian well pumps 200 kilometers southwest of Djibouti It was no typical dry season but the continued aridness had left its mark in this region Pump water everyone knows is clean Drinking well water will make one sick Every month people there die from diarrhea and dehydration The pump is also where one hears gossip from the women who live on the other side of the village This trip to the pump may be ones only excuse for going outside of ones Muslim home alone I will always remember the sight of women going to the pumps for water When a woman carried water on her head you could see her neck bend outward behind her like a crossbow Ten liters of water weighs around twenty-two pounds a fifth of a womans body weight and Ive
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