AFRICA: Millions of people in Kenya, Ethiopia and Somalia are in dire need of humanitarian assistance due to a drought that has killed hundreds of thousands of cattle and damaged crops.
Drought in East Africa
The United States Geological Survey (USGS) has defined drought “as a period of drier-than-normal conditions that results in water-related problems. Drought is characterized by a lack of precipitation, such as rain, snow, or sleet, for a protracted period, resulting in a water shortage’’.
In Somalia, Ethiopia and Kenya drought has caused scarcity of rainfall and as a result, it has pushed more than 5.6 million people to starve for food and water worldwide. Animals are dying, and as well dams are driving up. The situation is attributed to inadequate rainfall and delayed rainfall.
The natural phenomenon which has been a decimal occurrence in the Eastern part of Africa calls for proper measures to safeguard the life of the citizens and to create an enabling environment for farming and for the development to strive.
Causes of drought
Experts have argued that climate change has added to the persistent problem which has led to longer dry seasons resulting in hotter temperatures and a miserable future for its citizens.
However, some of the causes of the natural disaster as suggested by some experts are as follows;
- Lack of adequate rainfall: this is likely to cause drought as water is very essential to both humans and animals. When rainfall is limited it, in turn, causes scarcity of water and when it persists it will result in drought.
Lack of rainfall makes people find alternative ways of sourcing for water such as digging of walls, going to rivers among others.
- Deforestation: this is an act of cutting down trees without properly replacing them. Time without number trees fails for different purposes such as timber, wood, and firewood also for charcoal making. The non-availability of trees in our soul allowed rain to easily dry as the soil is directly exposed to the sunset.
- Drying out of rivers and lakes: when they are dried it poses danger to citizens as water will be scarce for community usage.
- Weather patterns as well as air circulation: some parts of Africa experience hotter weather than others, this also contributes significantly to the problem of drought in the society. Very hot weather leads to sources of water such as wells, rivers, and lakes drying up.
Effects of drought
Drought affects both the individual and personal life of people in several ways whenever it surfaces. The agricultural sector of the country suffers the most as food will be in shortage and it will result in feminine which can cause death and disease outbreaks. Other dangers brought by drought include;
Wildlife animals and fish will be lost as a result of severe drought. This is because of the lack of enough food and drinking water for animals to feed on.
More than 2.5 million people are experiencing food insecurity in Kenya.
Diseases will be in constant increase as a result of lack of essential human needs. Drought can as well lead to the mass death of both humans and animals as a result of enough food and water to feed on.
As the problem of drought ages in East Africa, the following need to be done to safeguard life and society. These include; changing to renewable as a source of energy. The energy is generated through natural sources such as the sun, winds, rains, waves, and heat.
Switching to this will help in preserving the available natural resources for adequate usage and will help to get a profound solution to the issue.
Also adhering to the government’s warning and laying down rules will save the affected society from endangering more into the natural disaster. Government policies of preventing disasters are often not observed by the citizens as it is always overlooked. This is strictly adhered to and will help in preventing further disaster.
Having adequate knowledge about environmental-related problems will enable people to be conscious about what needs to be done and how it should be done. Also planting additional trees will prevent further drought.
“Let’s develop the habit of water preservation. If the above is properly adhered to, the drought problem will be in drastic reduction,” experts said.