Climate change is looming catastrophe for South East Africa

Since World War II never had been so many people in danger of starvation and diseases as it is now. Almost 20 million people, and it is possible that this number will be much larger, in South East Africa countries are on the verge of death due to severe droughts. Famines have occurred in this region before, but never it was happening in so much countries simultaneously.

According to O’Brien, the UN Security Council, 7.3 million people are at risk in Yemen, 5.1 million in Nigeria, 5 million in South Sudan, and 2.9 million in Somalia. An estimated 1.4 million of all those people are young children.

The main problem of famine is not simply about food, it is about water first of all. There is no clean water in rivers, and in those places where it still can be find it had turned green and slimy, but the villagers kept drinking it. That caused one more problem – an outbreak of killer diseases such as cholera. Cholera treatment camps were set to give possible help to suffering people. Thousands of infected pack into destitute camps, many clutching their stomachs, some defecating in the open, others already dead from a cholera epidemic. But again, there is no enough water in this camps, even for basic sanitation and hygiene, like washing hands. This is turning such centers into disease factories. Such scenes take place across all South Africa. The price of water and food is unaffordable for local people, in some regions water cost 10 times more than couple of months ago.

Scientists have been saying for years that climate change and air pollution will increase the frequency of droughts. The fact is that countries which suffer most from climate change side effects, produce almost none of the carbon emissions which are causing so much harm to our environment. There is almost no industry in Somalia and South Sudan, as well as relatively small number of cars in this countries. Yet every year drought cycle in east Africa has been contracting sharply, as it was summarized by Economist in 2009. Rains used to fail every nine or ten years. Later the cycle seemed to go down to five years. Then the region faced drought every two or three years. Now, the fact is, that seven of last ten years have seen severe droughts across all South East Africa region.

We are at a critical point in history,” O’Brien informed. “Already at the beginning of the year we are facing the largest humanitarian crisis since the creation of the UN.” UNICEF also expressed confidence that there would be no repeat of the 2010/11 drought which saw up to 260,000 people starve to death after the international community failed to react promptly. UN officials are confident that most of those 20 million lives can be saved if water, food and medical aid is provided in time. “It is possible to avert this crisis, to avert these famines, to avert these looming human catastrophes,” he concluded. “It is all preventable.”

5 replies
  1. tillnotlate
    tillnotlate says:

    Overpopulation is one of the major problems that cause the starvation. And this is a dreadful moral dilemma. Of course we have no option but to respond to starvation. But in saving lives today, it seems we are likely to create even worse suffering tomorrow. On one hand, doing nothing is inhuman, on the other doing nothing would be the logic decision. I don’t have a patent solution or an answer to this dilemma and it seems our politians neither.


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