Southern Africa experiences its worst drought in decades and a serious food crisis is expected in Malawi, Mozambique and Zimbabwe. About 14 million people in Southern Africa are facing a hunger threat, within next months.
The South African Weather Service announced that 2015 was the driest year on record and it shows no sign of abating. Rains in the region failed last year, cutting the production of staple foods such as maize by almost half. Now climatologists reckon there is a 50% chance that drought will strike again this year.
In a recent statement the World Food Programme, which is the UN’s food-assistance branch, gave warning that the number of people without enough food is likely to rise further in 2016, as the drought worsens throughout the region.
In richer countries such as Botswana and South Africa people will not starve, but lack of rainfall spells economic disaster nonetheless. Meanwhile famine is also striking the parched top of the continent: the Horn of Africa, Ethiopia and Sudan. Countries in the middle are suffering the opposite problem: too much rain. In Kenya and Southern Somalia floods have already made more than 200,000 people homeless. Unluckiest of all is Ethiopia, which is afflicted by both drought and floods