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Official Says 80 Percent of Livestock Dead in Somaliland

80 percent of the region's livestock have died due the drought that has also killed dozens of people and forced thousands into displaced persons camps80 percent of the region's livestock have died due the drought that has also killed dozens of people and forced thousands into displaced persons camps

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Man looks at carcass of his goats which died due to the severe drought in the Togdher region of Somaliland, VOA
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Las-anod, March 25: Authorities in the breakaway republic of Somaliland say at least 80 percent of the region’s livestock have died due to the crippling drought that has also killed dozens of people and forced thousands into displaced persons camps.

“The situation is very grave as most of the livestock were killed by drought,” said Mohamud Ali Saleban, governor of the Togdheer region, in the town of Buro.

“We are waiting for the rain, but if it does not come in the next few days, we expect the government to declare an emergency,” the governor told VOA.

Officials told VOA that nearly 50 people across Somaliland have died due to drought-related illnesses.

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Nomadic communities all across this region said they have never experienced this kind of drought.

Jama Handulle Yassin, a 63-year-old herder, said he has lost more than 280 goats, leaving him with just 30.

“The starvation affected everything, and the situation now is very dangerous where we run for our lives before we die here,” he said. “We appeal to the world to immediately support us.”

Another woman, age 73, said, “This is the worst I have seen in my life.”

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Somaliland was affected by the 2011 regional drought that killed an estimated 260,000 people, but that event had its gravest impact in south and central Somalia.

Somaliland declared independence from Somalia in 1991 but is not recognized by any other country.

The current drought has forced tens of thousands of pastoralists to flee from remote villages into towns, where they set up makeshift camps.

As water becomes scarce, the drought is forcing many people living in camps outside the town of Las-Anod to drink dirty water.

Standing near the carcass of a camel, Roble Jama, a 13-year-old herder, said his family lost the only camel they had due to drought.

“I have seen when the camel was dying and I felt so sad. The camel’s name was Cadaawe and was nine years old,” Roble Jama told VOA near the village of Ina-Afmadobe.

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The United Nations recently warned that 6.2 million people across Somalia are facing acute food shortages. More than 1.5 million of those live in Somaliland.

(VOA)

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As Climate Talks Come to a Halt, Africa Suffers From Global Warming

The World Health Organization warns that climate change will exacerbate the impact of some disease and health problems.

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Drought, Climate change, global warming
A farmer stands on cracked earth that three weeks earlier created the bottom of a reservoir on his farm, in Groot Marico, South Africa. VOA

Efforts to boost global action against climate change are stuttering, as several key nations have objected to a key United Nations-backed report on the impacts of rising temperatures at the COP24 talks in Poland.

Many developing nations say they are already suffering from the impact of climate change, especially in south Asia and Africa, where water shortages and intense storms are putting lives and livelihoods in danger.

In Malawi in southern Africa, a bustling fish market stood at Kachulu on the shores of Lake Chilwa just five months ago. Now, hundreds of fishing boats lie marooned across the vast bay as vultures circle over the cracked, sun-baked mud. Water levels here fluctuate annually, but scientists say climate change is making the seasonal dry-out of the lake far more dramatic. Fishermen are being forced to leave and look for work elsewhere, says Sosten Chiotha, of the non-governmental organization ‘LEAD’ – Leadership for Environment and Development.

“Climate change contributes to the current recessions that we are experiencing, because you can see that in 2012 there was a recession where the lake lost about 80 percent of its water. Then it recovered in 2013, but not fully. So since then every year we have been experiencing these recessions,” Chiotha said.

Scientists gathering at the COP24 climate talks say it is developing countries like Malawi that are being hit hardest by the impacts of climate change.

The charity Water Aid has released a report ranking the countries worst-hit by water shortages, with Sudan, Niger and Pakistan making up the top three.

“There are people who are living with the impact of climate change right now. And they’re feeling those impacts not through carbon, but through water. And as we’ve seen over the past few years and will continue to see for many years to come unfortunately, is a huge increase in water stress and absolute water scarcity,” Water Aid’s Jonathan Farr told VOA from the climate talks currently underway in the Polish city of Katowice.

Richer nations have pledged $100 billion a year for poorer nations to deal with the consequences of climate change. Water Aid says they are failing to deliver the money.

Scientists say emissions of carbon dioxide would have to be reduced by 45 percent by 2030 to have any hope of keeping global warming below 1.5 degrees Celsius – the target agreed in the Paris climate deal.

 

 

Global Warming, Climate Change, Africa
Climate activists attend the March for Climate in a protest against global warming in Katowice, Poland, Dec. 8, 2018, as the COP24 UN Climate Change Conference takes place in the city. VOA

However, the number of coal-fired power stations – the most polluting for

m of energy generation – is growing. The German organization ‘Urgewald’ calculates that $478 billion had been invested into expansion of the coal industry between January 2016 and September 2018.

Also Read: To Help Poor Countries Adapt To Global Warming, World Bank Doubles Its Funding

Meanwhile the World Health Organization warns that climate change will exacerbate the impact of some disease and health problems, including malaria, malnutrition and heat exposure.

Also Read: To Help Poor Countries Adapt To Global Warming, World Bank Doubles Its Funding

There is little optimism at the talks that much concrete progress will be made, as several countries including the United States, Russia and Saudi Arabia have already voiced objections to a key scientific report from the U.N.’s Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change. (VOA)