Somalia faces severe drought and millions could starve

As climate change parches Somalia, frequent drought comes with conflict over fertile land.

Somalia was trying to recover from the two-year-drought that ended in 2017. However, the situation is not yet comfortable. People are struggling to come to terms with the fact that starvation looms large on the horizon. The Guardian quotes an official of the UN’s humanitarian chief who said the country faces a serious problem. This is because it is in the grip of a severe dry rainy season. Such a situation has never come in more than three decades. The result will be misery for millions who will face hunger. Moreover, their livelihoods will be under threat. In addition, many more will be uncertain of their next meal. Obviously, others will have to respond to the climate crisis. In Somalia, the rainy season is usually from April to June. The initial forecast was of an average rainy season but it appears to be one of the driest on record.

Drought and famine threaten life for nomadic Somali herders. [Image source/YouTube video]

Drought a result of climate disorders

An official of the Somalia NGO Consortium has branded it as a climate crisis. The reason for drought in Somalia was due to cyclones in the southern Indian Ocean. One of these was Cyclone Idai, which prevented the rains from moving north. This added to abnormally hot and dry conditions between January and March. The net result was drought with hungry mouths all round. Of course, there is a positive aspect due to some rainfall in recent weeks. Unfortunately, it falls far short of requirements.

Somalia: Drought Crisis. [Image source/YouTube video]

Funds are necessary

According to an official, it is a humanitarian need. The response plan sought $1.08bn for the year, and had received partial amount by the end of May. The revised appeal is a drought response plan to the extent of $710m. The UN has allocated $45m to offer support in Somalia, as well as parts of Ethiopia and Kenya and $30m of this will go to Somalia.

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