Drought Brings the Horn of Africa to a Risk


Photo Courtesy By mnn.com

Every year from March to May, the countries that make up the Horn of Africa rely on the “long rains” to replenish water supplies and to re-establish goat herds, ensuring a supply of milk and meat, stated mnn.com.

In recent years, these “long rains” are becoming less frequent and shorter in duration. As of now, four severe droughts in the last 20 years have have pushed the region to the edge as those who live in the are attempt to cope with the land that has dried faster now than ever in 2,000 years, explained mnn.com.

“In the future,” James Oduor, the head of Kenya’s National Drought Management Authority, told the New York Times, “we expect that to be normal — a drought every five years.”

In relation to the problem revolving around the food crisis, the Ethiopian government increased its count of the number of people in need of emergency food aid from 5.6 million to 7.7 million, which was a move that aid agencies describe as “long overdue,” washingtonpost.com.

With food crises erupting across the continent and the government’s budget strained by last year’s drought, there isn’t enough money to counter this situation. There could eventually be as many people in Ethiopia needing emergency food assistance as in Somalia and South Sudan combined, explained washingtonpost.com.

Goats are a valuable commodity as they can be sold, milked, and butchered for meat. For the poorest in the region, goats are the most reliable source of profit and food, but with droughts reducing the access to water and reducing feeding grounds, goats can’t reach weights necessary for selling or consume enough water or milk to be worth butchering, explained mnn.com.

A village down the road from Tede’s isn’t in any better condition, despite the presence of a water pump. Another shepherd, Mohammad Loshani, had 150 goats a little over a year ago, but he only has 30 left as of now. After the 2017 drought, he lost more than 20 goats within two months, explained mnn.com.

“If these droughts continue,” Loshoni said, “there’s nothing for us to do. We’ll have to think of other jobs.”