‘240,000 Face Starvation’ in Drought-Stricken Somalia
Non-government organisations have warned that more than 240,000 people in Somalia face starvation amidst prolonged droughts.
Aid agencies have called on the international community to intervene as 40,000 households face the imminent threat of starvation.
Food production town hit
The rains which were being expected mid-year have [been] delayed,” Clare Ogara, from the Somalia NGO consortium, told Anadolu Agency. “thousands are being forces to eat one meal a day. There is an acute shortage of water and thus people are forced to rely on contaminated water.”
The hardest hit regions in Somalia include Maroodijeeh, Gebiley and Adwal, which are major towns for food production. Somalia has been fighting a long battle against famine with the UN claiming more than a million face starvation in the country.
Still struggling from 2011
The war-torn nation has never recovered from severe famine caused by East Africa’s devastating drought in 2011 that threatened the lives of nearly 10 million people. Things have improved over the last four years, but more needs to be done, according to UN Humanitarian Coordinator, Peter de Clercq:
“The levels of food insecurity and malnutrition are critical. Humanitarian actors and donors have prevented the situation being a lot worse than it is, but we all need to do more,” he said.
The latest droughts in Somalia make the situation even more difficult to maintain – especially as major food producing towns have been hit and water supplies dwindle. “No water means no life,” says Ogara. “We have records that show that around 35-40 percent of livestock in the affected areas have died.”
A lack of clean water forces locals to rely on contaminated sources, which leads to a series of life-threatening diseases and other health complications. UNICEF estimates just 30% of people in the country have access to clean water, putting a huge percentage of the population at risk from waterborne diseases as droughts in the region continue.
“2011 Horn of Africa famine Oxfam 01” by Oxfam East Africa – http://www.flickr.com/photos/oxfameastafrica/5758386784/. Licensed under CC BY 2.0 via Commons.