Horn of Africa bracing for suppressed rainfall season …amid threat to food security

The Horn of African region could experience depressed rains in the critical March to May season, dashing hopes of a respite from the escalating hunger crisis, the Intergovernmental Au­thority on Development (IGAD), an East African bloc, said Wednes­day in its latest weather forecast report launched in Nairobi, the Kenyan capital.

According to the IGAD Climate Prediction and Applications Centre (ICPAC), a large swathe of the Horn of Africa region is likely to receive subdued rains in the March to May season, casting a dark shadow on efforts to tackle food in­security, malnutrition, water stress, and resource-based conflict.

Soipan Tuya, Kenya’s cabinet sec­retary in the Ministry of Environ­ment, Climate Change and Forestry, said that inadequate rains bode ill for livelihoods, human health, and ecosystems’ balance in the region.

Ms Tuya acknowledged that the Horn of Africa region is a climate change hotspot, necessitating robust investments in resilience projects tailor-made for vulnerable communities.

“As the region grapples with a climate crisis that has created a dire humanitarian situation, we need to enhance the resilience mechanism for our communities,” Ms Tuya remarked.

She said that as Kenya prepares to host the Africa Climate Summit in September, there are concert­ed efforts at the regional level to strengthen coping mechanisms for communities on the frontline of extreme weather events.

According to the latest IGAD weather outlook for March to May, the arid parts of Ethiopia, Kenya, and Somalia, currently under the grip of acute drought, will experi­ence below-average rains, jeopardis­ing efforts to restore the devastated livelihoods of nomads and subsis­tence farmers.

IGAD’s Executive Secretary, Workneh Gebeyehu, noted that in­vestments in early warning and en­hanced surveillance combined with sharing of best practices should inform future regional efforts to promote climate resilience. —Xinhua

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