Drought to continue in Horn of Africa: WMO

Catastrophic consequences of the multi-year drought will continue in 2023 in the Horn of Africa region, leaving communities in urgent need of assistance, the World Meteorological Organization has warned.

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Women carrying water make their way to the Baidoa camp in Somalia, on Jan. 21, 2023. [Photo by Abdi/Xinhua]

Catastrophic consequences of the multi-year drought will continue in 2023 in the Horn of Africa region, leaving communities in urgent need of assistance, the World Meteorological Organization (WMO) has warned.

According to a new seasonal forecast, below-normal rainfall is expected in most parts of the region over the next three months, the WMO said in a statement issued late Wednesday.

“Should this happen, it would be an unprecedented sixth poor season for the worst hit countries — Ethiopia, Kenya and Somalia,” the WMO warned.

The WMO said the current drought began with the poor performance of the October-December 2020 rains and has since deepened with all four subsequent seasons also performing poorly. A persistent La Nina event has had a key influence.

The Intergovernmental Authority on Development (IGAD)’s Climate Prediction and Applications Center (ICPAC), which is a WMO regional climate center, forecasted below-normal rainfall in most parts of the Horn of Africa over the next three months, coupled with high temperatures, the WMO noted.

ICPAC predicted lower-than-average rainfall for the parts of Ethiopia, Kenya, Somalia, and Uganda that have been most affected by the recent drought, and this could be the sixth failed consecutive rainfall season.

The Food Security and Nutrition Working Group, co-chaired by IGAD and the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations, estimated that close to 23 million people are currently highly food insecure in Ethiopia, Kenya, and Somalia.

ADDIS ABABA, Feb. 24 (Xinhua) 

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