More than 50 lives have been lost in Ethiopia’s Tigray and Amhara regions, with fatalities attributed to a deadly combination of drought and an aid freeze. Simultaneously, Kenya is facing a devastating flood crisis, where over 50 people have been swept away in the raging waters, leaving thousands displaced.
In Ethiopia’s northern Tigray and Amhara regions, local officials have reported that at least 46 people in the town of Yechila, Tigray, and six in the neighboring Amhara region of Wag Hemra have succumbed to hunger amid severe food shortages. The Horn of Africa has experienced five consecutive failed rainy seasons since 2019, intensifying the humanitarian crisis.
The region is still recovering from a two-year civil war that ended a year ago, and allegations of aid theft prompted the US and UN to suspend assistance earlier this year. As a result, the situation has worsened, with over 4,000 cattle also falling victim to the harsh drought conditions.
As Ethiopia grapples with drought, Kenya faces the aftermath of intense rainfall, causing floods and claiming lives. In the Mukaa area of Makueni County, at least eight people are feared dead after attempting to cross the Muuoni river, which had overflowed due to heavy rains.
Evans Peter, Kenya Red Cross Makueni County coordinator, confirmed the tragic incident, saying, “We have deployed a rescue team to the area, and efforts are underway to assist those affected.”
The Kenya Red Cross Society reported that hundreds of houses were swept away on the coast and in northern Kenya, leading to more than 50 casualties and displacing at least 30,000 people.
Kenya faces devastating floods, causing widespread damage & impacting over 500,000 people.
This worsens the plight of people already grappling with food insecurity.@KenyaRedCross is working hard to respond to the immediate needs. IFRC is happy to support these efforts. pic.twitter.com/mkZNrIQwnW
— Jagan Chapagain (@jagan_chapagain) November 22, 2023
These events in Africa highlight the increasing frequency of extreme weather events, attributed to the global climate crisis.
Scientists emphasize that climate change exacerbates weather extremes, making droughts and floods more severe.
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During the conflict in Tigray, Ethiopia, humanitarian aid was cut off, leading to a significant loss of lives. The UN estimates that about 500,000 people may have perished due to the war, lack of medical supplies, and hunger. After the conflict’s resolution, aid flowed steadily until June, when the US and UN halted assistance due to systematic theft by corrupt officials.
The US government has assured that significant reforms have been implemented to address the issue, and widespread food deliveries are set to resume in December to alleviate the suffering.
In a statement on the situation, Fati N’Zi-Hassane, Oxfam in Africa Director, expressed concern, saying, “The region is going from one disaster to the next as climatic shocks become more frequent and intense.”