More than one million cattle have died due to the ongoing severe drought in Ethiopia’s Somali region.
The drought, which is said to be the worst drought that hit Ethiopia’s southeastern Somali region in 40 years, has severely affected the region’s pastoralist community as more than one million cattle perished during the course of the ongoing drought, state-affiliated Fana Broadcasting Corporate (FBC) quoted Somali region president Mustafa Muhammed as saying.
Noting that the drought has affected nine zonal administrations across the region, Muhammed warned that the already dire situation would further exacerbate if the drought condition persists.
He called for swift and concerted efforts to prevent the drought-induced humanitarian catastrophe in the region, which is Ethiopia’s second-largest in terms of geographical area.
The United Nations World Food Program (WFP) had recently warned that the shortages of water and pasture are devastating livelihoods, forcing families from their homes across the regions in southern and south-eastern Ethiopia.
“Livestock are dying, crops are failing, and an estimated 5.7 million people wake up hungry every day in southern and south-eastern Ethiopia as the Horn of Africa grapples with the most severe drought since 1981,” the WFP had said last week.
According to the WFP, in total, some 6.8 million people have been affected by the drought, which also affects parts of Ethiopia’s Oromia and the SNNPR regions.
The WFP warned that immediate and scaled-up assistance is critical to avoid a major humanitarian crisis in the drought-affected areas of Ethiopia and help communities become more resilient to extreme climate shocks.
It said 130 million U.S. dollars is urgently needed to provide this assistance over the next four months, responding to the needs of 3.5 million of the most drought-affected people.