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News > World

+110 Dead and 770,000 Displaced in Horn of Africa, El Niño Rains

  • The El Niño weather phenomenon impacts the Horn of Africa region. Nov. 17, 2023.

    The El Niño weather phenomenon impacts the Horn of Africa region. Nov. 17, 2023. | Photo: X/@DailesJudge

Published 17 November 2023 (1 hours 18 minutes ago)
Opinion

According to official data, the El Niño weather phenomenon, which has brought unusually heavy rains, thunderstorms and extreme flooding to the region, comes on the heels of the worst drought in 40 years after five failed rainy seasons.
 

On Thursday, a global charity said heavy rains and flash floods have killed at least 111 people and displaced more than 770,000 across the Horn of Africa in recent weeks.

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Save the Children, an international non-governmental organization, called for urgent national and international intervention to respond to the massive displacement in Kenya, Ethiopia and Somalia.

"We urgently need to step up our support to families and children, for example by sending messages to families on how to reach safe places in time before floods, supporting evacuation plans or protecting school infrastructure before a storm, so that children can return to school as soon as possible," said Yvonne Arunga, Save the Children's Kenya Country Director, in a joint statement issued in Nairobi, Kenya's capital.

According to official data, the El Niño weather phenomenon, which has caused unusually heavy rains, thunderstorms and extreme flooding in the region, comes on the heels of the worst drought in 40 years, after five failed rainy seasons.

In addition, the charity said devastating rains in northern Kenya and Nairobi counties have caused widespread flooding, displacing some 36,000 people and killing 46 since the start of the rainy season less than a month ago.

According to the charity, incessant rains have left the town of Beledweyne in central Somalia submerged after the Shabelle River overflowed its banks, forcing some 250,000 people from their homes. Across Somalia, eight children are among 32 people known to have died in the floods, with more than 456,000 displaced across the country.

It also stated that at least 33 people, including eight children, have died in the floods in Ethiopia. Save the Children's country director in Ethiopia, Xavier Joubert, said the heavy flooding and displacement have left families and children without basic services such as access to food, health care, water and hygiene services.

"We need to have funds available to ensure that we act in anticipation of this type of humanitarian crisis and the continuity of essential services such as health facilities, schools and child protection systems," Joubert said.

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