African droughts projected to affect twenty million East African people

By Elkanah Nyauma

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African droughts are causing harm and hence sounding an alarm. Action is required now to help people and communities affected by the drought to survive the period ahead, while restoring their lives and return them to self-reliance so they can withstand future disasters.

Families have become desperate for food and water due to African droughts. Millions of children are suffering from malnutrition. Livestock, which pastoralist families depend on for food and livelihoods, have died.

Many children below the age of five years are experiencing high levels of stunting and wasting, as they lack the nutrients to grow and develop.

Families also do not know where their next meal will come from and are taking on huge debt, selling off what they can, or sending their children to work.

A sharp increase in food and fuel costs and conflict-caused displacement are being compounded by a worsening climate crisis.

Eastern Africa is confronted with a year of unprecedented humanitarian needs, driven by intense climate shocks, ongoing conflict and instability, and surging food and fuel prices, according to WFP’s Regional Director for Eastern Africa, Michael Dunford.

Africa, in the last two years alone has suffered from 14 extreme droughts  – far more than any other continent in the world. The United Nations is warning that some 20 million East African people are at risk this year because of lack of rain.

Two-thirds of Africa is desert and dryland, so it has limited productive land to start with. To make things worse, 65% of the productive land is already degraded, according to the UN.

If African countries can stop playing political games and work on thinking of the best ideas to combat this world pandemic that is coming to us like a tsunami, we will be save a generation. Otherwise people are going to die like flies due to African droughts. ~ Elkanah Nyauma

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