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Wednesday, July 06, 2022

Climate change: Hunger looms for 13m Africans - ITREALMS

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The climate change crisis has worsened with droughts across the Horn of Africa, with up to 13 million people in Ethiopia, Kenya and Somalia likely facing severe hunger, reports 
ITREALMS.
One of the deceased animals belonging to farmer Sugow Abdullahi Abdi by Fridah Bwari/ActionAid
Sources at ActionAid’s emergency teams, informed 
ITREALMS that with millions of people still recovering from the devastating drought that hit the region in 2017, a large-scale response is urgently needed to avert a catastrophic food and malnutrition crisis.

Families who rely on farming for livelihoods, 
ITREALMS gathered, are being hardest hit by the prolonged drought, which comes amid Covid-19 and devastating desert locust infestations.

For instance, in Kenya, the team reports that rainfall levels are 60 per cent below what is expected at this time of year and livestock are dying at an alarming rate.

The Executive Director of ActionAid Kenya, Susan Otieno, said that the situation is deteriorating fast across the country as they are seeing horrifying images from rural counties, where communities are scarred by the sight and smell of decomposing cattle.

“Water scarcity and reduced pasture is pushing wild animals closer to villages. Livestock herders, women and girls are making long and dangerous journeys in soaring temperatures to find water.

“Our teams of local women trained in disaster response are providing support to their communities, including coordinating cash transfers and meals for school children. But we urgently need to scale up our relief efforts as this food and malnutrition crisis deepens.”

Another instance, 
ITREALMS gathered that in Somaliland, it is estimated that the impact of the drought, including severe hunger and water shortages, will affect 1.2 million people over the next three to four months.

“The cost of water has increased from $1 to $5 per 200 litres, making it unaffordable for many families,” one of the farmers said.

Taiwo Ajose, Acting Country Director of ActionAid Somaliland, said, “The climate crisis is fueling recurring droughts and erratic weather patterns, causing widespread displacement, hunger, water shortages, malnutrition and increased poverty across Somaliland.

“As well as emergency relief, communities urgently need support to recover, adapt and build resilience to climate change. This must come from the wealthy countries most responsible for rising global temperatures.”

Just as ActionAid’s resilience building programming, supporting communities to create water harvesting structures, has left families better able to survive the current drought.

The emergency response teams, 
ITREALMS reports are distributing food support and providing cash assistance for the construction of shallow wells and soil bunds, which help retain water, despite that hundreds of thousands of families in Somaliland remain in urgent need of support.

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