Tuesday 4 February 2020

Record-breaking drought to record-breaking rainfall and Biblical sized locust plagues in just 3 years: East and Central Africa torrid period leaves thousands dead from hunger and flooding with millions displaced

From record-breaking drought to record-breaking rainfall and Biblical sized locust plagues in just three years. Photo undispatch.com

A total turn around

At least 13 people died in Rwanda's capital, Kigali, in overnight heavy rains and others were injured, government officials said Monday. The East African nation has seen dozens of deaths caused by torrential rains in recent weeks. According to a report from the Red Cross, at least 13 people have now died in flooding in Lindi region, Rwanda's neighbour, Tanzania, 5 people are missing, 1,746 houses have been completely destroyed and 1,074 latrines collapsed. Media, quoting local government sources, said that 15,096 have been displaced by the flooding, with around 8,000 staying in evacuation centres. The rains which started last October has devastated East and Central Africa, killing hundreds and displacing millions.

Meanwhile, since October 2019, unprecedented rainfall has killed hundreds in Central Africa with nearly one million displaced and thousands of hectares flooded and rainfall at 300% above average.

In neighbouring Somalia, over half a million people have now been affected by the ongoing floods. With homes destroyed and crops devastated, flood-hit communities are in desperate need of assistance, says the UN. Heavy rains in Somalia and the Ethiopian highlands caused the Shabelle and Juba Rivers to overflow. Flooding has now affected over half a million people in Somalia, of whom 370,000 are displaced from their homes, according to the United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA). Flooding began around 21 October and has destroyed farmland and infrastructure and devastated livelihoods in some of the worst-hit areas. At least 17 people have died, roads and homes destroyed, and about 10,000 hectares of crops flooded. Full story

An incredible downpour delivered two years of rainfall in just one day on the small East African nation of Djibouti as East Africa continues to suffer astonishing downpours which started in October 2019. Apparently, rainfall from October to mid-November has been up to 300% above average in the Horn of Africa region affecting more than 250,000 people.

In nearby Kenya, flooding has affected more than 160,000 people since the onset of the rains in October, according to the Kenya Red Cross Society (KRCS). At least 120 people have reportedly died, including dozens who lost their lives after a landslide in West Pokot County on 23 November. KRCS said that nearly 18,000 who are displaced countrywide, including 10,000 in West Pokot County. According to the Kenyan government, 16,000 houses have been destroyed across the country. Full story

While the capital city Kinshasa is dealing with devastating flash floods and landslides which have left more than 40 people dead, northern provinces of the Democratic Republic of the Congo are experiencing some of the worst floodings for 25 years. Flooding began back in October after heavy rains caused the Ubangi and Congo rivers and tributaries to overflow. Initially, Wide areas of North and South Ubangi provinces were affected. Since then the flood situation has worsened. As of 27 November, the UN claimed that over 225,000 people across the 3 provinces are in need of humanitarian assistance. It is estimated that over 235,000 people have been affected by the flooding South Ubangi. Charity Caritas-Congo reported 10 flood-related deaths in North Ubangi, where around 180,000 people have been affected. The situation is expected to deteriorate as the rainy season extends into December.
On Feb. 3, 2020, the Meteosat-8 satellite spied East Africa and an intensifying storm system in the Indian Ocean. According to the World Meteorological Organization (WMO), it is the latest in a series of systems brought on by a weather pattern that has caused excessive precipitation in the region and created a population explosion of locusts that have devastated the region’s harvests. Furthermore, the locust swarms, presumed to originate from the Indo-Pakastani border, have been the largest in 25 years for most of the Horn of Africa and are projected to increase in number until June due to ongoing favourable conditions for breeding. 

To make matters worse, Biblical sized plagues of locusts have been devastating what crops are left in East African nations. Yesterday, became the first country in the Horn of Africa to declare a locust infestation sweeping the region as a national emergency. The country's Ministry of Agriculture said in a statement on Sunday the desert locust surge "poses a major threat to Somalia's fragile food security situation"."Food sources for people and their livestock are at risk," it added. "The desert swarms are uncommonly large and consume huge amounts of crops and forage.

According to the Regional Food Security and Nutrition Working Group, East Africa is already experiencing a high degree of food insecurity, with more than 19 million people facing acute hunger. The locusts have led to what the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) has termed the "worst situation in 25 years" in the Horn of Africa. The FAO says the current invasion is known as an "upsurge" - when an entire region is affected - however, if it gets worse and cannot be contained, more than a year or more, it would become what is known as a "plague" of locusts. There have been six major desert locust plagues in the 1900s, the last of which was in 1987-89. The last significant surge was in 2003-05.

Southwest Asia and the Red Sea area also affected

Ethiopia, Kenya and Somalia are dealing with desert locust swarms of “unprecedented size and destructive potential” that could spill over into more countries in East Africa, the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) warned on Monday. Destroying hundreds of thousands of acres of crops, the outbreak is impacting the region’s food insecurity. The UN agency urged for a collective campaign to deal with the crisis, concerned over the risk that the swarms spill over into more countries in East Africa, “if efforts to deal with the voracious pest are not scaled up across the region”. South Sudan and Uganda are not currently affected but are at risk. The Big Wobble

From record-breaking drought to record-breaking rainfall

Just 3 years ago, East Africa was currently experiencing the worst drought in fifty years.
In Ethiopia alone, some 5.6 million people are suffering from severe hunger. German Development Minister Gerd Muller will today visit one of the worst-hit areas of the country, the Somali region, which lies in the east of Ethiopia. The Big Wobble


Unknown said...

Our Earth (Really it is God's Earth) is so unstable. Natural disasters are increasing in frequency and scope. Forget the CO2 scam, Humans have poisoned every God-given thing on this Earth, and now the Earth has had enough, so many will perish for the sins of greed, money, power, and some just don't care. Since the 1950's, which is also around the time Israel got there country back after 2,000 years of exile, natural disasters just keep up year after year. I believe the 1948 Jewish regathering in the Middle East started The End Of Age clock. What age? I believe it's the "Church Age", or as some bible interpreters would say "The Age of Grace". The one time pardon for accepting Jesus sacrifice at the cross satisfied the redemption of all our sins. Only the son of God can do that. Amen. May God bless us all thru faith in his son!

Gary Walton said...