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Worst drought in decades devastates Ethiopia’s nomads (MAY 4, 2022)

Titre : Worst drought in decades devastates Ethiopia’s nomads

There has hardly been a drop of rain in Hargududo in 18 months. Dried-up carcasses of goats, cows and donkeys litter the ground near the modest thatched huts in this small village in the Somali region of southeastern Ethiopia. (MAY 4, 2022)

The worst drought to hit the Horn of Africa in decades is pushing 20 million people towards starvation, according to the UN, destroying an age-old way of life and leaving many children suffering from severe malnutrition as it rips families apart.

April is meant to be one of the wettest months of the year in this region. But the air in Hargududo is hot and dry and the earth dusty and barren. Many of the animals belonging to the 200 semi-nomadic herder families in the village have perished.

Those who had "300 goats before the drought have only 50 to 60 left. For some people... none have survived," 52-year-old villager Hussein Habil told AFP. The tragic story is playing out across whole swathes of southern Ethiopia and in neighbouring Kenya and Somalia.

In Ethiopia, the eyes of the world have largely focused on the humanitarian crisis in the north caused by the war between government forces and the Tigray People’s Liberation Front (TPLF) that has left nine million people in need of emergency food aid. But the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) estimates that up to 6.5 million people in Ethiopia—more than six percent of the population—are also severely food insecure because of drought.

Lack of rain has killed nearly 1.5 million head of livestock, around two-thirds of them in the Somali region, said OCHA, showing "how alarming the situation has become". Herds provide the nomadic or semi-nomadic populations of this arid and hostile region with food and income as well as their savings. But the surviving animals have deteriorated so much that their value has plummeted, reducing the buying power of the increasingly vulnerable households, OCHA warned.

Source  : Aymeric Vincenot

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Page publiée le 16 janvier 2023