Saturday August 28, 2021
FILE PHOTO – Somali families displaced by severe drought create a makeshift camp as the Horn of Africa faces severe drought on the outskirts of the village of War Idad, 150 miles east of Hargeisa, Somalia, on June 19, 2017. (Photo by Scott Peterson/Getty Images)
The greater Horn of Africa region will experience suppressed rainfall from October to December, worsening an already fragile food and water security situation, says a forecast from Intergovernmental Authority on Development (IGAD) issued in Nairobi on Thursday.
“A drier than usual season is forecasted across Eastern Africa from October to December 2021,” says the IGAD forecast adding that depressed rains will reduce crop yield, and increase the number of hungry people in the region.
The IGAD forecast noted that a bulk of countries in the horn of the African region depend on the October to December rain season to prepare for planting of key staples.
However, the drier than usual conditions forecasted in Tanzania, Burundi, Rwanda, Kenya, Somalia, Ethiopia and Eritrea could delay or disrupt the planting season.
According to IGAD another major concern is the drier than usual conditions expected in the cross-border areas of Kenya and Somalia, already reeling from climate induced food insecurity.
“Besides the dry conditions, warmer than usual temperatures are expected across the region in particular in eastern Kenya to Somalia, eastern parts of Ethiopia and eastern Sudan,” said IGAD.
The regional bloc said a worsening hunger and malnutrition situation linked to a prolonged dry spell could trigger a humanitarian crisis in a region that is yet to weather COVID-19 aftershocks.
More than 30 million people across the horn of the African region are already food insecure and require urgent assistance even as conflicts, pandemic and climate change undermine their resilience.
The region has experienced depressed rains since the beginning of the year thereby jeopardizing livelihoods of subsistence farmers and pastoralists.
According to the latest IGAD forecast, the start of the October-December short rains season in the region could be delayed by two weeks, with many countrihungeres receiving an average of 200 to 300 millimeters of rainfall.
The bloc called on regional and national authorities to use the latest seasonal forecast to develop contingency plans, avert a widespread humanitarian crisis.