By Felix Kibet
Food insecurity is expected to persist across East Africa due to a combination of factors including conflict, previous and on-going floods and drought-recovery in the Eastern Horn with a large section of the region’s population expected to remain in crisis through to January 2019.
“Through January 2019, large populations are expected to remain in Crisis or Emergency in South Sudan, Sudan, Somalia, and Ethiopia. In addition, Famine (is possible in a worst-case scenario in South Sudan if there is a sustained absence of humanitarian assistance” the Famine Early Warning Systems Network (FEWS NET) said in its September update.
The organization founded by USAID also notes that protracted conflict in various parts of the region has displaced large populations and disrupted livelihoods by constraining access to typical sources of basic resources such as food and income.
“Displaced households in South Sudan, Somalia, Sudan, and along Ethiopia’s regional borders of Oromia, Somali, and SNNP (Ethiopia), are projected to experience Crisis or worse outcomes. In addition, refugees in Uganda, Rwanda, and Burundi face Stressed outcomes in the presence of humanitarian assistance, but the risk of funding shortfalls remain.”
But the organisation also notes that the region received “above-average” rainfall through the month of August in Northern parts East Africa, which had continued since April in most parts of the region including Somalia, Ethiopia, Kenya, Rwanda, Burundi and Uganda’s Karamoja region.
“In Uganda, the heavy rains caused severe flooding, crop damage, particularly in riverine areas; destruction of livestock, an upsurge in vector and water-borne diseases, displacement, and loss of life. However, while this affected some crop production and delayed harvests, it also led to above-average yields and allowed for recession cultivation” The statement reads.
Enhanced amounts of rainfall is expected in southern parts of Somalia, Western Kenya, Burundi, Rwanda and Eastern Uganda.
“As of August, forecast models indicated enhanced October to December rains are expected over the region, including in Burundi, Rwanda, Uganda, eastern and western Kenya, and southern Somalia. Average to above-average rains are expected to enhance crop and livestock production, increase demand for agricultural labor, and suppress resource-based conflict.”