East Africa Hit By Severest Drought in 60 Years

 

East Africa has been hit by the worst drought in over 60 years. More than 10 million people are in danger of starving in Ethiopia, Somalia, Kenya and Djibouti.

The last ten years in the Horn of Africa have been extremely dry with droughts coming more often than usual. The rainy season in eastern Africa is normally between November and December and then again in spring but this year seasonal rain has not come.  In addition to climate change food prices in the region have gone up because of the shortage of food.

 

The impact of the drought is worst in Somalia because of the political conflict in the country and a government that does not control the whole country. Rebel groups are making it very difficult for aid workers to get food to Somalia. Hundreds of thousands are fleeing  the country and seeking refuge in the world’s biggest refugee camp in neighboring Kenya.

In Ethiopia the situation is somewhat better than in Somalia. Although many people live in poverty and the amount of farming land has gone down the government  has provided money to buy medicine and raise  health standards .

Especially children are affected  by the drought. Over two million children in the region do not have enough to eat. Child mortality is very high so that thousands of children die every day.

Climate experts predict that the situation will get even worse. The coming months will become especially dry before the next rainy season comes. The problem that the population in the Horn of Africa faces is not only the lack of rain but the time it arrives.  Farmers plant their crops and expect it to rain at a certain time. If it doesn’t they have no crops and no food with not enough money to buy any.

 

Without massive help from around the world millions of people may starve to death. Aid agencies  from are delivering  food, clean water and medical supplies  to the countries hit hardest by the drought in Eastern Africa.

 

Refugee Camp in Northern Kenya

Refugee Camp in Northern Kenya - Photo: Pete Lewis/Department for International Development

 

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Words

  • affect   = here: hit hard
  • aid agency   = organization that organizes helpers and food and sends them to countries that are hit by the drought
  • aid worker   = a person who brings food, water and medicine to people who need help
  • although   =while
  • child mortality   = the number of children of a certain age who die
  • conflict   = argument, quarrel between two groups or countries
  • crop   = plant that is grown and used as food
  • deliver    = transport, send
  • drought   = a long period of dry weather in which there is not enough water for animals and plants to live
  • especially   = above all
  • face   = a difficult situation you have to solve
  • flee   = escape, run away
  • government   = people who rule a country
  • impact   = effect, influence that something has on something else
  • in addition   = also
  • lack   = not enough
  • massive   = very big, a lot of
  • poverty   = the state of being poor
  • predict   = forecast, foretell
  • provide   = give
  • raise   = go up
  • refuge   = safe place to stay
  • refugee camp   = place where people escape to because they are in danger
  • seasonal   = in a season
  • shortage   = not enough
  • standard   = level
  • starve   = to have nothing to eat
  • supplies   = the  necessary things that you need