After a fourth consecutive season of poor rainfall, Somalia is experiencing a rapidly worsening drought. Over two million people are suffering due to severe food and water shortages, said the United Nations.
The Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) stated that 57 of the 74 districts in the African nation are "ravaged by serious water, food, and pasture shortages." Water pans and boreholes in the region have dried up. About 2.3 million people are living in these districts, reported Arab News.
Over 80% of the East African nation is estimated to be experiencing severe drought conditions. And 20% of the entire population are in poverty. The Juba and Shabelle river levels are already low and are expected to decrease further soon.
Somalia's minister of humanitarian affairs and disaster management Khadija Diriye said that the population is sliding deeper into poverty and families could starve to death. She said she is particularly worried about children, women, the elderly and disabled people.
The population is also at risk of water-borne diseases. Adam Abdelmoula, the UN resident and humanitarian coordinator for Somalia, called for urgent action to prevent famine conditions in the region. The country is one of the world's most vulnerable to climate change. Abdelmoula said: "A perfect storm is brewing in Somalia."
Somalia is a war-torn country but the deteriorating climate situation has forced about 100,000 people to flee their homes. Natural disasters have been the main reason for displacement in Somalia in recent years, said the UN agency.
Somalia has experienced more than 30 climate-related hazards, including 12 droughts and 19 floods, since 1990. "The frequency and severity of climate-related hazards are increasing," said the UN.
Climate crises have led to widespread loss of livestock and crop failure in the region. South Sudan and Kenya are also suffering similar issues.