Severe southern African drought to worsen: UN

October 28, 2016
Mozambique, with 1.5 million people reeling from the drought, is one of the worst-hit countries, along with Zimbabwe, Malawi, Lesotho and southern Madagascar

The impact of the most severe drought to hit southern Africa in 35 years is expected to worsen in the coming months, a UN climate envoy warned Friday.

"The crisis has yet to peak," Macharia Kamau, special envoy on El Nino and climate, said at the end of a four-day trip to Mozambique.

The devastation, which has affected some 18 million people across the southern African region, will be at its worst around January next year, he said.

Mozambique, with 1.5 million people reeling from the drought, is one of the worst-hit countries, along with Zimbabwe, Malawi, Lesotho and southern Madagascar.

"For many children, women and the elderly, the next few months will be about looking at survival straight in the face," Kamau told reporters in Maputo after visiting water-starved districts a few hours' drive from the capital.

"Frankly, what I saw there saddened and shocked me. We saw stretches of land, bone dry and desolate," he said.

Some parts in Mozambique have not seen rains for three years, according to the country's natural disaster management agency.

The Southern African Development Community (SADC) in August launched an emergency aid appeal for $2.9 billion (2.7 billion euros).

For Mozambique, $200 million is required "immediately" but only 57 percent of that has been secured, said Kamau.

Drought in the region has been blamed on the El Nino weather phenomenon which occurs every two to seven years, affecting rainfall patterns by causing both drought and flooding.

Explore further: African children to suffer as El Nino winds down: NGO

Related Stories

Drought caused by El Nino threatening southern Africa: UN

February 12, 2016

The El Nino weather phenomenon, one of the worst in 50 years, has caused intense drought in southern Africa that will have a "devastating" impact on the region's food security, the UN food agency warned on Friday.

Recommended for you

0 comments

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.