Tuesday January 16, 2018
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Millions go hungry as Zimbabwe faces the worst drought in decades

The impact of low rain and low crop yields following two years of drought is painfully visible in Matabeleland and other dry lands.

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A photo taken on February 7, 2016 shows the fast drying catchment area of the Matabeleland, Zimbabwe. Image source : time.com
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GENEVA—  Zimbabwe is currently facing a huge drought and the President of Zimbabwe has declared this as “state of disaster”. It has faced many regional drought before but this year in 2016, it got worsened by the El nino weather phenomenon. This weather phenomenon has also affected countries like South Africa, Malawi and Zambia causing death of thousands cattle, depletion of reservoirs and spoiling.

U.N. has confirmed that more 3 million people are going hungry due to this drought. The impact of low rain and low crop yields following two years of drought is painfully visible in Matabeleland and other dry lands said Bishow Parajuli U.N. Resident Coordinator of Zimbabwe.

“I recently visited that area with a number of donors and ambassadors; we could really see the desperation and severity of the situation.” said Parajuli.

A man touches dried land which used to be a water source. Image source : voa.com
A man touches dried land which used to be a water source. Image source : voa.com

It is being considered as the worst regional drought in whole decade and some say it is likely to get even.

The United Nations have appealed for $360 million so that assistance can be provided to more than 3 million people. The assistance will include all the important needs like food, water, health, nutrition, sanitation and protection.

$70 million has already been received and only $290 million is left says Parajuli. He urges donors to respond to this appeal and be generous.

“Given Zimbabwe is a landlocked country and also the whole southern Africa region is affected by El Nino, and lack of surplus of maize, it is very critical to plan in advance in terms of importation and supply chain delivery ,” said Parajuli. ” So, earlier response will really help save lives and suffering among the population.”

Parajuli says he is particularly worried about the so-called lean season between September and March.  This is the period between harvests when farmers’ food stocks are at their lowest.

He says people will be severely affected by the lack of food, and many will not be able to count on their cattle as a lifeline as tens of thousands have died from lack of water and grazing land. (VOA)

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  • Pritam Go Green

    PrayForZimbabwe !!! At least we can do this. Major countries such immediately help these poor nations in the name of humanity. We are facing results of our actions. Due to global warming nature’s balance has been destroyed which is leading to these calamities.

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A rise in 2 degrees Celsius in global warming could cause droughts

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A rise in 2 degrees Celsius in global warming could cause droughts
A rise in 2 degrees Celsius in global warming could cause droughts. wikimedia commons

New York, Jan 2, 2018: A rise of just 2 degrees Celsius in global warming could make over a quarter of the world’s land to become drier and more desert like, increasing the threat of widespread drought and wildfires, new research led by one of Indian origin has found.

The study showed that reducing greenhouse gas emissions into the atmosphere to limit global warming under 1.5 or 2 degrees Celsius would dramatically reduce the likelihood of significant aridification emerging in many parts of the world, the researchers said.

Aridity is a measure of the dryness of the land surface, obtained from combining precipitation and evaporation.

“Our research predicts that aridification would emerge over about 20-30 per cent of the world’s land surface by the time the global mean temperature change reaches 2 degrees Celsius,” said Manoj Joshi from the the University of East Anglia’s School of Environmental Sciences.

“But two thirds of the affected regions could avoid significant aridification if warming is limited to 1.5 degrees Celsius,” Joshi added.

For the findings, published in the journal Nature Climate Change, the team examined projections from 27 global climate models to identify the areas of the world where aridity will substantially change when compared to the year-to-year variations they experience now, as global warming reaches 1.5 and 2 degrees Celsius above pre-industrial levels.

The world has already warmed by one degree Celsius. As a result, drought severity has been increasing across the Mediterranean, southern Africa, and the eastern coast of Australia over the course of the 20th Century, while semi-arid areas of Mexico, Brazil, southern Africa and Australia have encountered desertification for some time as the world has warmed.

“Aridification is a serious threat because it can critically impact areas such as agriculture, water quality, and biodiversity. It can also lead to more droughts and wildfires – similar to those seen raging across California,” explained Chang-Eui Park from the Southern University of Science and Technology (SUSTech) in China. (IANS)