VITA Magazine » COMMUNITAS » Yalla Italia! » SUBSCRIBE TO OUR NEWSLETTER »

Article written

East Africa: the worst food crisis in the world today 0

Jun29

Eastern Africa is experiencing what has been described as the “most severe food crisis in the world today”, with at least 10 million people affected in Djibouti, Ethiopia, Kenya, Somalia and Uganda.

Eastern Africa is experiencing what has been described as the “most severe food crisis in the world today”, with at least 10 million people affected in Djibouti, Ethiopia, Kenya, Somalia and Uganda, according to the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA).

Somalia is one of the hardest-hit countries in the region, with deaths reported in some areas amid alarming malnutrition levels.

We are no longer on the verge of a humanitarian disaster; we are in the middle of it now. It is happening and no one is helping,” Isaq Ahmed, the chairman of the Mubarak Relief and Development Organization (MURDO), a local NGO working in the Lower Shebelle region of Somalia, told IRIN on 28 June.

He said: “In the three districts of Qoryoley, Kurtunwarey and Sablale [in Lower Shebelle] our estimate is that some 5,000 families [30,000 people] have been seriously affected by the current drought.”

Ahmed said those who can are seeking survival in Mogadishu.

“Those remaining in the area are the ones who cannot even afford transport to Mogadishu,” he said, adding that a number of people had died due to a combination of hunger and related diseases.

“Most of those who died were children, the elderly, and lactating and pregnant mothers,” he said.

Up to eight people a day were being buried in Lower Shabelle, according to Sultan Sayidali Hassanow Aliyow Ibirow, a senior traditional elder in Lower Shabelle. Most of them were cattle herders who had lost everything.

“Three years of little or no rain have led to this disaster. People have not recovered from their previous losses and now we have an even worse drought,” he said.

Driest season since 1950

In many pastoral zones, this is the driest season on record since 1950, according to OCHA.

Drought conditions in Somalia have had regional implications, with refugees flowing into Kenya, Ethiopia and Djibouti.

An aid worker in Mogadishu, who preferred anonymity, told IRIN the number of people from the Bay, Bakol and Lower Shabelle regions coming into displaced persons camps in the Afgooye corridor has been increasing in recent months. “I would not say it is a flood yet but it is a steady stream and they are coming every single day.”

”Nearly every child or parent we have spoken to says they are not just fleeing fighting in Somalia – the drought and food crisis are equally perilous to them now”
According to Save the Children, children arriving from Somalia in the Dadaab refugee camp in northern Kenya are exhausted, malnourished and severely dehydrated.

“Nearly every child or parent we have spoken to says they are not just fleeing fighting in Somalia – the drought and food crisis are equally perilous to them now,” said Catherine Fitzgibbon, Save the Children’s Kenya programme director.

Experts are warning that the situation could get worse in the short term if the delayed and poor rains cause the current crop to fail.

Source: UN, IRIN

Video: Vox Africa

subscribe to comments RSS

Comments are closed

Project by VITA SOCIETÀ EDITORIALE S.P.A.
P.IVA 11273390150
ISCRIZIONE ROC N.3275
Direttore Responsabile afronline.org: Giuseppe Frangi
©2011-2015