Horn of Africa Drought: Djibouti is Suffering Too

Although Somalia, as the epicenter of the Horn of Africa’s famine, has deservedly received the bulk of the attention devoted to the crisis, other countries are suffering too. One is Djibouti, which Mark Tran calls the “forgotten country” of the crisis. AFP reports:

Slap bang in the midst of a harsh desert of sun-baked grey rocks in northern Djibouti, the village of Garabtisan has been hit by extreme drought and many children are wasted by malnutrition.

Emaciated livestock and animal carcasses dot the sand around the village, which some residents have fled in the wake of a severe drought in the Horn of Africa that has left some 12 million in danger of starvation.

“We have been badly hit by the drought. You can see the effects. Our animals have been decimated. We don’t have water and our children are dying of malnutrition,” said Houmed Mohamed, a local elder.

A government crisis unit recently distributed food to some 300 families in Garabtisan which is expected to sustain them for the coming weeks.

According to the UN’s Food and Agricultural Organisation, 146,000 people in Djibouti are affected by the drought that is also ravaging parts of Ethiopia, Kenya, Uganda and Somalia — the worst-hit country in the region.

As Tran points out, Djibouti only has a population of around 820,000 people, so when nearly 150,000 are feeling the effects of drought, that represents a major crisis for the country. A number of aid agencies are working there, but poverty and lack of infrastructure mean that remote rural villages, such as Garabtisan, are extremely vulnerable.

Read more about Djibouti at the FAO’s country page.

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2 thoughts on “Horn of Africa Drought: Djibouti is Suffering Too

  1. As the emergency escalates throughout the Horn of Africa, the numbers of those in crisis continue to grow. Currently, 12.4 million people in the region are in need of humanitarian assistance, and this ongoing crisis poses some crucial challenges to the education services. To discuss the beginning of the school year under these extreme circumstances and the importance of education in emergency situations, UNICEF’s new podcast moderator Femi Oke talked to Mr. Jumma Khan, Education Cluster Coordinator for Somalia and Mr. Garisa Omara, a Senior Assistant Director of Education in the Kenyan Ministry of Education.

    To listen to the podcast, please visit: http://www.educationandtransition.org/resources/the-on-going-drought-in-the-horn-of-africa-threatens-the-new-school-year/

  2. Pingback: Africa: Expanding US interests on the continent « Mb50's "Liquid Mud" Blog

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