Africa: Millions Threatened by Drought
One of the worst droughts to hit the Horn of
Below is an article published by IRIN News:
Up to 14 million people in the greater Horn of African region are expected to suffer under harsh weather conditions in the next three months [April-July 2008] that threaten food security, according to climate specialists meeting in
Experts under the regional body, the IGAD [Intergovernmental Authority on Development] Climate Prediction and Application Centre, urged governments to take immediate action to protect the region.
Professor Laban Ogallo, head of the centre, based in
“It is estimated that between 11 million and 14 million people, or 10 percent of the regional population, will be affected. Pastoralist communities are going to be the most vulnerable and this may cause conflict as these communities move from their areas to look for water and pasture,” said Patrick Luganda, the media official of the Greater Horn of Africa Climate Outlook Forum.
Luganda said the cattle corridor of the region would experience tension as most of it is forecast to experience dry spells, putting pressure on available water and pasture. Other agricultural areas are also expected to suffer as a result. “We forecast tension between cattle keepers in
Whereas much of
However, because of the political crisis in
“This outlook may help governments to plan better as it tells them which areas are safe and which will need help,” Luganda said.
The specialists noted, however, that despite the expectation of poor rainfall, “episodic wet spells and flash floods could occur” over areas expected to be dry. Flash floods over the east African region displaced thousands last year  and compromised food security.