Drought in Southern Africa
Southern Africa is in the midst of its most severe drought in 35 years, and according to a UN climate envoy, things are forecast to worsen over the months ahead.
Following a four-day trip to Mozambique, special envoy on El Niño and climate change Macharia Kamau said “[t]he crisis has yet to peak.” He highlights that the devastating drought will be at its worst at or near January of 2017.
Approximately 18 million people have been affected by the drought’s widespread impacts, region-wide. Among the worst-hit countries is Mozambique, with 1.5 million suffering from extreme heat. Zimbabwe, Malawi, Lesotho, and southern Madagascar also fall in the same group.
For many children, women and the elderly, the next few months will be about looking at survival straight in the face. Parts of Mozambique have been water-starved for years — with certain areas seeing no rainfall for as much as three years, the nation’s disaster management agency reports.
El Niño, which affects rainfall patters by influencing flooding and drought, has been pegged as the cause of the detrimental drought.