Climate Change, Conflict Making More In East Africa Vulnerable

Women prepare meals outside their tents at Paro Primary School in Sigor, West Pokot County, where a camp was set up by the Kenya Red Cross Society on November 28, 2019, after floods and mudslides displaced residents. FILE PHOTO | NATION MEDIA GROUP

By Daily Nation

Climate change is upending lives across Africa. Okello Ligolo, a fisherman from Kisumu County, spent Christmas in a secondary school after floods forced him from his home. He recalls when major floods were less frequent, occurring once a decade or so. Now they seem to occur yearly.

HIT HARD

The flooding, attributed to rainfall from the Indian Ocean dipole, affected 160,000 people in Kenya, 570,000 in Ethiopia and 550,000 in Somalia. Djibouti witnessed two years of rain in a day, the Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (Ocha) said.

The Kenya Red Cross assisted more than 6,500 severely affected households — mostly in central and western Kenya — with relief supplies, medical assistance and material to set up camps. Crops and livestock were victims of the high water, raising fears of food insecurity. 

The climate is changing everywhere, but East Africa is being particularly hit hard. A quarter of the 20 countries most vulnerable to climate change are in this region: Somalia, Eritrea, Burundi, Sudan and Ethiopia.

What makes it worse is that many of those countries have recently suffered from conflict or violence; clearly, conflict and climate change make for a miserable combination. Read more>>

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