Drought Drives Over 20 Million People Into Hunger As Flach Floods Cause More Havoc.
The long periods of drought in various parts in the Eastern Africa drives over 20 million people to hunger as Flash floods cause more havoc.
From southern Ethiopia to northern Kenya and Somalia, swathes of land across the Horn of Africa are being affected severely by drought that has put 20 million people at risk of starvation.
Last week about $1.4 billion was raised by a donor conference for the region which according to the United Nations (UN) is facing its worst drought in 40 years.
In the afflicted areas, people earn a living mainly from herding and subsistence farming.
They are experiencing their fourth consecutive poor rainy season since the end of 2020. The situation in the area was exacerbated by a locust invasion that wiped out crops between 2019 and 2021.
Consequently, the UN’s World Food Programme (WFP) last week expressed fear that the number of hungry people due to drought could spiral from the currently estimated 14 million to 20 million through 2022.
In Somalis six million people (40 percent of the population), 6.5 million people in Ethiopia and 3.5 million people in Kenya are facing extreme levels of food insecurity and there is a high risk of famine in the coming months if current conditions prevail. The UN humanitarian response agency OCHA said in a statement last week.
Experts have hinted that extreme weather events are happening with increased frequency and intensity due to climate change.
UNICEF executive director Catherine Russell has also said that over 10 million children in Djibouti, Ethiopia, Kenya and Somalia are in need of urgent life-saving support because of the crisis.
“Overall 1.7 million children are severely malnourished across the sub-region,” she said in a statement after a four-day visit to Ethiopia last week.
The drought has also threatened the animal world. Livestock such as cattle, an essential source of subsistence in the region are dying en masse.
Wildlife in the affected regions is also at risk. In Kenya many cases of wild animals such as giraffes or antelopes has been reported perishing for lack of water and food, their carcasses rotting on barren scrub land in the recent past.