News / Africa

    Less Severe Drought Forecast For Horn of Africa

    Kenya's Turkana region shows effects of severe drought affecting Horn of Africa
    Kenya's Turkana region shows effects of severe drought affecting Horn of Africa

    The World Meteorological Organization (WMO) says the Horn Of Africa can look forward to weaker drought conditions in the coming months.  In its latest El Nino/La Nina update, the WMO says near neutral or weak La Nina conditions, which lessen the severity of drought, are the most likely scenarios for the rest of 2011.

    The El Nino and La Nina phenomena, which occur in the tropical Pacific, have a significant impact upon weather and climate around the globe. The World Meteorological Organization says there is a possibility that La Nina conditions, where sea surface temperatures cool, may re-emerge over the coming months.  But, if this happens, it says the event is likely to be much weaker than the moderate to strong La Nina, which prevailed in 2010 and ended in May 2011.

    That La Nina was linked to disastrously wet conditions in parts of Australia, Indonesia, Southeast Asia, and portions of northern South America. At the same time, it caused drought in East Africa.

    WMO Climate Expert Rupa Kumar Kolli says if La Nina re-emerges it would result in rainfall, which is either normal or below normal.  This, he tells VOA, could potentially spell bad news for East Africa but he adds that drought conditions are still likely to be less severe than in the past two years.

    “There is reason to be concerned about the situation. But, at the same time, even if La Nina occurs, the current indications are that it is likely to be weak and is not going to be anywhere close to the moderate to strong La Nina that we have seen last year," said Kolli. "In that sense, even if it is slightly below normal, it is really not alarming and it is very unlikely that we will see a very severe drought condition to happen in Eastern Africa.”

    Somali's wait for food aid to be handed out from the UNHCR in Mogadishu , Wednesday. Aug. 31.2011
    Somali's wait for food aid to be handed out from the UNHCR in Mogadishu , Wednesday. Aug. 31.2011

    More than 12 million people in Kenya, Ethiopia, Djibouti and Somalia are struggling to cope with the worst drought to hit the Horn of Africa in 60 years. People in Somalia are particularly hard hit as they try to survive the twin disasters of conflict and drought.  The United Nations has declared several regions in southern Somalia to be famine zones.

    Kolli says the drought in the Horn of Africa came as no surprise to meteorologists.  He says the impact resulting from the La Nina event was expected and he says regional weather centers warned countries of the severity of the drought that was looming.

    Once countries have been warned of a possible weather-related disaster, he tells VOA it is up to their governments to take appropriate measures to try to lessen the expected impact.

    “Famines are man-made, whereas droughts are natural parts of the system. So, the drought warnings were given sufficiently in advance to the policy makers,".Kolli added. "But, the famine conditions are a combination of the drought and other factors, which actually create a situation where people have no access to food.”  

    WMO Climate Expert Kolli says meteorologists are trying to improve ways of getting policy makers to take their warnings more seriously. He says they are trying to see how they can better communicate weather and climate information. He says it is important to make policy makers understand they must take appropriate decisions based on the regional forecasts they receive.

    You May Like

    Chechen Suspected in Istanbul Attack, but Questions Remain

    Turkish sources say North Caucasus militants involved in bombing at Ataturk airport, but name of at least one alleged attacker raises doubts

    With Johnson Out, Can a New ‘Margaret Thatcher’ Save Britain?

    Contest to replace David Cameron as Britain’s prime minister started in earnest Thursday with top candidates outlining strategy to deal with Brexit fallout

    US Finds Progress Slow Against Human Trafficking in Africa

    Africa continues to be a major source and destination for human trafficking of all kinds -- from forced labor to sexual slavery, says State Department report

    This forum has been closed.
    Comments
         
    There are no comments in this forum. Be first and add one

    By the Numbers

    Featured Videos

    Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
    Clinton Leads Trump, But Many Voters Don't Like Eitheri
    X
    Jim Malone
    June 29, 2016 6:16 PM
    In the U.S. presidential race, most recent polls show Democrat Hillary Clinton with a steady lead over Republican Donald Trump as both presumptive party nominees prepare for their party conventions next month. Trump’s disapproval ratings have risen in some recent surveys, but Clinton also suffers from high negative ratings, suggesting both candidates have a lot of work to do to improve their images before the November election. VOA National correspondent Jim Malone has more from Washington.
    Video

    Video Clinton Leads Trump, But Many Voters Don't Like Either

    In the U.S. presidential race, most recent polls show Democrat Hillary Clinton with a steady lead over Republican Donald Trump as both presumptive party nominees prepare for their party conventions next month. Trump’s disapproval ratings have risen in some recent surveys, but Clinton also suffers from high negative ratings, suggesting both candidates have a lot of work to do to improve their images before the November election. VOA National correspondent Jim Malone has more from Washington.
    Video

    Video Slow Rebuilding Amid Boko Haram Destruction in Nigeria’s Northeast

    Military operations have chased Boko Haram out of towns and cities in Nigeria’s northeast since early last year. But it is only recently that people have begun returning to their homes in Adamawa state, near the border with Cameroon, to try to rebuild their lives. For VOA, Chris Stein traveled to the area and has this report.
    Video

    Video New US Ambassador to Somalia Faces Heavy Challenges

    The new U.S. envoy to Somalia, who was sworn into office Monday, will be the first American ambassador to that nation in 25 years. He will take up his post as Somalia faces a number of crucial issues, including insecurity, an upcoming election, and the potential closure of the Dadaab refugee camp in Kenya. VOA’s Jill Craig asked Somalis living in Kenya’s capital city Nairobi how they feel about the U.S. finally installing a new ambassador.
    Video

    Video At National Zoo, Captivating Animal Sculptures Illustrate Tragedy of Ocean Pollution

    The National Zoo in Washington, D.C., is home to about 1,800 animals, representing 300 species. But throughout the summer, visitors can also see other kinds of creatures there. They are larger-than-life animal sculptures that speak volumes about a global issue — the massive plastic pollution in our oceans. VOA's June Soh takes us to the zoo's special exhibit, called Washed Ashore: Art to Save the Sea.
    Video

    Video Baghdad Bikers Defy War with a Roar

    Baghdad is a city of contradictions. War is a constant. Explosions and kidnappings are part of daily life. But the Iraqi capital remains a thriving city, even if a little beat up. VOA's Sharon Behn reports on how some in Baghdad are defying the stereotype of a nation at war by pursuing a lifestyle known for its iconic symbols of rebellion: motorbikes, leather jackets and roaring engines.
    Video

    Video Melting Pot of Immigrants Working to Restore US Capitol Dome

    The American Iron Works company is one of the firms working to renovate the iconic U.S. Capitol Dome. The company employs immigrants of many different cultural and national backgrounds. VOA’s Arman Tarjimanyan has more.
    Video

    Video Testing Bamboo as Building Material

    For thousands of years various species of bamboo - one of the world's most versatile plants - have been used for diverse purposes ranging from food and medicine to textiles and construction. But its use on a large scale is hampered because it's not manufactured to specific standards but grown in the ground. A University of Pittsburgh professor is on track to changing that. VOA’s George Putic reports.
    Video

    Video Orphanage in Iraqi City Houses Kids Who Lost their Parents to Attacks by IS

    An orphanage in Iraqi Kurdistan has become home to scores of Yazidi children who lost their parents after Islamic State militants took over Sinjar in Iraq’s Nineveh Province in 2014. Iraqi Kurdish forces backed by the U.S. airstrikes have since recaptured Sinjar but the need for the care provided by the orphanage continues. VOA’s Kawa Omar filed this report narrated by Rob Raffaele.
    Video

    Video Re-Opening Old Wounds in a Bullet-Riddled Cultural Landmark

    A cultural landmark before Lebanon’s civil war transformed it into a nest of snipers, Beirut’s ‘Yellow House’ is once again set to play a crucial role in the city.  Built in a neo-Ottoman style in the 1920s, in September it is set to be re-opened as a ‘memory museum’ - its bullet-riddled walls and bunkered positions overlooking the city’s notorious ‘Green Line’ maintained for posterity. John Owens reports from Beirut.
    Video

    Video Brexit Resounds in US Presidential Contest

    Britain’s decision to leave the European Union is resounding in America’s presidential race. As VOA’s Michael Bowman reports, Republican presumptive nominee Donald Trump sees Britain’s move as an affirmation of his campaign’s core messages, while Democrat Hillary Clinton sees the episode as further evidence that Trump is unfit to be president.
    Video

    Video NASA Juno Spacecraft, Nearing Jupiter, to Shed Light on Gas Giant

    After a five-year journey, the spacecraft Juno is nearing its destination, the giant planet Jupiter, where it will enter orbit and start sending data back July 4th. As Mike O'Sullivan reports from Pasadena, California, the craft will pierce the veil of Jupiter's dense cloud cover to reveal its mysteries.
    Video

    Video Orlando Shooting Changes Debate on Gun Control

    It’s been nearly two weeks since the largest mass shooting ever in the United States. Despite public calls for tighter gun control laws, Congress is at an impasse. Democratic lawmakers resorted to a 1960s civil rights tactic to portray their frustration. VOA’s Carolyn Presutti explains how the Orlando, Florida shooting is changing the debate.

    Special Report

    Adrift The Invisible African Diaspora