Saturday, 11 February 2017

Millions of African's face starvation after "Super El-Niño" causes drought throughout the continent killing millions of cattle and destroying crops

Dead cattle litter the ground in drought ridden Ethiopia Photo Orthodox Christian Network
Kenya's president has declared the drought, which has affected as much as half the country, a national disaster.
Uhuru Kenyatta appealed for international aid and said the government would increase food handouts to the most needy communities.
Kenya's Red Cross says 2.7 million people face starvation if more help is not provided.
Other countries in the region have also been hit by the drought, blamed on last year's El Nino weather phenomenon.
In Somalia, nearly half the population, over 5 million, is suffering from food shortages and the UN says there is a risk of famine in several parts of the country.
During the last drought on this scale in 2011, famine killed about 250,000 Somalis.
In a statement, Mr Kenyatta said the government had allocated $105m to tackle the drought which has affected people, livestock and wildlife in 23 of Kenya's 47 counties.
"Support from our partners would complement government's efforts in mitigating the effects of drought," he said.
Mr Kenyatta added that all purchases of food and other items would be made in a transparent way.
"I will not tolerate anybody who would try to take advantage of this situation to defraud public funds," the president said.
An El Nino weather pattern, which ended in May, triggered drought conditions across the southern and eastern African region that hit the staple, maize, and other crops and dented economic growth.
More than 1 million people in drought-hit southern Madagascar are experiencing "alarming" levels of hunger, and more aid is needed to prevent a dire situation from becoming a "catastrophe", UN agencies said on Thursday.
This is the latest warning by the agencies who have been scaling up their response to a crisis affecting more than half the population in the south of the island nation.
Some 20% of households in the affected areas are now experiencing emergency levels of hunger, according to the latest food survey.
Meanwhile as South Africa contends with a severe drought, officials at Kruger National Park have put a plan into action that they say will help avert mass die-offs of wildlife-through the selective culling of some of the park's largest grazers.
This week, rangers began killing around 350 of the park's 7,500 hippos and 47,000 buffalo.
The populations of both species are at their highest ever, according to officials.
Reducing their numbers will not put either species at risk, rangers say, but will reduce some of the strain on the park's grasslands and water holes.
Zimbabwe is one of many countries feeling the strain of El Nino, which has dried up rainfall across southern Africa over the last year, killing crops, disrupting hydropower production and forcing local water authorities to enforce stringent water rationing in some areas.
More than 5 million people are facing food and water shortages.
Livestock experts say parched pastures are causing the deaths of thousands of cattle across the country.
Last year, the agriculture ministry’s livestock department estimated that the national cattle herd stood at 5,3 million animals, down from over 6 million in 2014.
In one district in Masvingo province last year, more than a thousand cattle died because of drought, according to the Ministry of Agriculture.

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