Drought in Somalia

Drought is caused by drier than normal conditions that can eventually lead to water supply problems. Really hot temperatures can make drought worse by causing moisture to evaporate from the soil.  Droughts only occur when an area is abnormally dry. Somalia is the most severe drought-affected country in the Horn of Africa due to the cumulative effects of three consecutive below-average rainy seasons, severe water shortages, and rising food prices. The drought has caused large-scale crop failures and livestock deaths, impacting livelihoods and food supply. This shock is taking place in an existing fragile conflict environment with high levels of poverty, widespread water shortages, food insecurity, displacement, and deep communal tensions. The drought has caused large-scale crop failures and livestock deaths, impacting livelihoods and food supply. This shock is taking place in an existing fragile conflict environment with high levels of poverty, widespread water shortages, food insecurity, displacement, and deep communal tensions.

“When I give food to the poor, they call me a saint. When I ask why the poor have no food, they call me a communist.”


The effect of drought

Drought can also affect people’s health and safety. Examples of drought impacts on society include anxiety or depression about economic losses, conflicts when there is not enough water, reduced incomes, fewer recreational activities, higher incidents of heat stroke, and even loss of human life. This has long-lasting socio-economic and environmental impacts and is considered the most damaging type of natural disaster. Droughts cause habitat loss, the migration of local species, and the spread of invasive alien species, leading to biodiversity loss. Droughts can reduce air quality and compromise the health of people with certain conditions, according to the CDC. These particles can irritate the airways and worsen chronic respiratory illnesses, such as asthma, the CDC says. The resulting low dam levels led to water restrictions being imposed on users across several countries in Southern Africa. Additional impacts of the drought are the death of livestock and poor crop yields due to poor or no rainfall making water unavailable for irrigation. However, Somalia’s “rapidly worsening” drought has left more than two million people facing severe food and water shortages, the United Nations has warned. The Horn of Africa is now “on the verge of a fourth consecutive failed rainfall season”, according to a joint statement by the Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) and the Somali government released last month.
“Somalia’s “rapidly worsening” drought has left more than two million people facing severe food and water shortages.”
 

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