Drought in East Africa

A long-lasting drought is affecting Somalia, coastal regions of Kenya and Tanzania, and central-eastern Ethiopia. After two years of below-average rainy seasons, severe and persistent drought conditions are leading to severe soil moisture deficit and are affecting the agricultural sector and increasing wild-fire danger. In the last 24 months (July 2020 June 2022), a severe deficit has been accumulating in Somalia (20% according to CHIRPS dataset, 45% according to the ECMWF ERA5 reanalysis). Highest local values, up to 70% (50%) based on the ECMWF ERA5 reanalysis (CHIRPS), have been estimated. On-going conflicts in the region, widespread poverty, and food insecurity result in a high vulnerability and low coping capacity with respect to drought and natural hazards in general. A total of 70 million people are exposed to some level of drought risk in East Africa. According to UN-OCHA, people needing humanitarian help include 7 million in Ethiopia, 4 million in Kenya, and 5 million in South Sudan. In Somalia, as of May 2022, 6.1 million people have been affected by the drought emergency.

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