Following continued water shortage in Kenya, president Uhuru Kenyatta recently declared drought a national disaster as the effects spread fast across the country.Kenya’s northern parts have seen the worst of it with 70% of water sources already dry.
The government is looking to allow further imports of corn and expand distribution of financial aid, water and food. President Kenyatta also urged food aid organizations not to take advantage of the crisis. However, inasmuch as the Kenyan government and foreign aid bodies make strides towards the alleviation of the situation, the number of starving people increases by the day.
Somalia is by far the worst hit by the ongoing drought. So much so, that the first deaths are being reported from the northern parts of the country. In a report by the UN, more than 40 percent of the Somali population depends on food aid. Among these at least 360,000 children are malnourished with 70,000 of them in danger of starvation.
To escape the situation most families are leaving their homes in search of water and grazing land for their livestock. Somali’s immediate neighbor Ethiopia is also recording the worst drought yet, with the refugees coming in from Somalia posing a heavier burden on the country as it’s already straining as it is to feed its current population.
The catastrophic effects of drought in various countries on the Eastern parts of Africa continue to be seen through deaths of herds of animals and disease-stricken malnourished people. T
This is likened to the warning signals received in 2011 by Karl-Otto Zentel- secretary general of the relief organization CARE- where more than 260,000 people died of famine in Somalia. Aid workers had raised alarm at the time but the international community had failed to act. Karl stressed the importance of acting in urgency before the situation gets any worse that it already is.