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Posts Tagged ‘Kenya’

Drought-Stricken Farmers Eating Termites in Kenya

Posted by feww on February 19, 2017

‘Humanitarian Catastrophe’ in Horn of Africa:

Debilitating drought destroys crop, sending food prices skyrocketing, and forcing millions of people and their dying animal to migrate.  

The Government of Kenya declared a national drought emergency on 10 February. The latest round of debilitating drought has affected 23 of 47 counties across the country. “The number of food insecure people more than doubled – from 1.3 million to 2.7 million. Some 357,285 children and pregnant and lactating mothers are acutely malnourished,” said UN OCHA.

Maize production in the coastal areas has decreased by 99 per cent compared to the long term average.

The rainfall deficit in the Horn of Africa has been particularly acute across Somalia, multiple parts of  Ethiopia,  Kenya, Uganda and South Sudan.

“According to the Nairobi-based International Centre of Insect Physiology and Ecology (Icipe), a growing number of farmers in eastern and western Kenya are now harvesting and eating insects like termites to cope with prolonged drought.”

Situation Overview [UN OCHA]

  • The 2016 Deyr or short rains season (October to December) brought severely low levels of rainfall to the region.
  • The situation is worse than in 2010-11 in many ways.
  • The drought has had a major impact on water resources, including on river flow levels and the availability of water for human and livestock consumption.
  • Widespread crop failures have affected farming and agro-pastoral communities in most of Somalia, southwestern Ethiopia and northeastern Kenya, with food prices skyrocketing.
  • Livestock are becoming increasingly weak, contracting diseases and dying at alarming rates, with catastrophic consequences for pastoral communities.
  • Terms of trade are declining sharply for pastoralists, contributing to rising food insecurity and malnutrition.
  • Household production of milk and meat is low and the price of milk and other dairy products has skyrocketed.
  • 12.8 million people in Ethiopia, Uganda, Kenya and Somalia face are severely food insecure and are in need of humanitarian assistance.
  • Approximately 600,000 children aged 6 to 59 months in Somalia, Kenya and Ethiopia will be in need of treatment for severe acute malnutrition in 2017 and this number is expected to rise rapidly. In Somalia, 13 out of 27 rural and displaced groups have Global Acute Malnutrition (GAM) rates above emergency (15 per cent) levels.
  • The drought and the associated reduced access to water and sanitation has the potential to further exacerbate ongoing disease outbreaks and create new ones. About 15 million people will not have access to safe drinking water in Ethiopia, Kenya and Somalia in 2017.
  • Drought, economic shocks and conflict in the region have disrupted the education of approximately 6 million children in Ethiopia, Kenya and Somalia.
  • The drought has triggered movements of families in search of grazing land, water and work, increasing the risk of family separation and tensions among communities over scarce resources.
  • Repeated cycles of climatic shocks, coupled with insufficient recovery periods, have limited household and community coping mechanisms.

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Saudi Air War Massacre Kills Hundreds in Yemen

Posted by feww on April 3, 2015


Hundreds killed, many wounded, tens of thousands displaced amid Saudi air raids in Yemen

At least 519 people have been killed, about 1,700 others wounded in the past two weeks—more than 90 of them children—and tens of thousands of people have been forced to flee their homes, some by crossing the sea to Djibouti and Somalia, said Valerie Amos, the UN Undersecretary-General for Humanitarian Affairs and Emergency Relief Coordinator in her latest statement on Yemen.

Electricity, water and essential medicines are in short supply, she added.

“Before this recent escalation in the violence, millions of Yemenis were already extremely vulnerable.”

The Air War Massacre Will Backfire

Saudi military air war massacre against the defenseless Yemen people will ultimately backfire, says journalist Thomas C. Mountain.

“In 2009 the Saudi military’s incompetence was exposed when their major offensive against the Houthi’s along the Saudi/Yemen border was routed and in the following Houthi counter offensive a large chunk of Saudi territory was captured by the lightly armed Houthi fighters.”

“Still stinging from their last military humiliation 6 years ago at the hands of the Houthi tribal fighters in Yemen, the Saudi Arabian royal family has embarked on what is highly likely to turn into Saudi’s ‘Vietnam’ with their latest attempt at invading Yemen.”

Houthis, having seized the presidential palace in Aden on Thursday, are now threatening to attack Saudi Arabia, should the aerial bombardment of Yemeni territory continue, said reports.

Even the U.S. should be weary of Saudi misadventures by now.

Other Global Disasters/ Significant Events

Kenya attack: 147 killed 80 wounded

At least 147 people, mostly students, were killed after al-Shabab terrorists attacked Garissa University in northeastern Kenya Thursday, said reports.

Heavily armed terrorists stormed the university campus, killing several security guards and firing indiscriminately on students.

The group was also responsible for the 2013 terrorist attack on Westgate shopping mall in the Westlands suburb of Nairobi, in which 67 people were massacred.

Iraqi Death Toll – March 2015

A total of 997 Iraqis were killed and another 2,172 were wounded in acts of terrorism and violence in March*, according to casualty figures released by UNAMI,

  • At least 729 civilians were killed (including 42 civilian police), and 1,785 others wounded (including 98 civilian police).
  • Also 268 members of the Iraqi Security Forces (including Peshmerga, SWAT and militias fighting alongside the Iraqi Army / Not including casualties from Anbar Operations) were killed and 387 others were wounded.
  • Baghdad was the worst affected Governorate with 1,290 civilian casualties (362 killed, 928 wounded). Diyala suffered 51 killed and 75 wounded; Salahadin suffered 34 killed and 48 wounded, and Ninewa 20 killed and 15 wounded, said UNAMI.
  • In Anbar, the Governorate reported a total of 939 civilian casualties (237 killed and 702 wounded). This included 58 killed and 391 wounded in Ramadi and 179 killed and 311 wounded in Fallujah, according to information obtained by UNAMI from the Health Directorate.

*CAVEATS: In general, UNAMI has been hindered in effectively verifying casualties in conflict areas.  Figures for casualties from Anbar Governorate are provided by the Health Directorate and are noted above. In some cases, UNAMI could only partially verify certain incidents.  UNAMI has also received, without being able to verify, reports of large numbers of casualties along with unknown numbers of persons who have died from secondary effects of violence after having fled their homes due to exposure to the elements, lack of water, food, medicines and health care.  For these reasons, the figures reported have to be considered as the absolute minimum.

Mount Sinabung Erupts

North Sumatra’s Mount Sinabung erupted again on April 3, 2015 ejecting a 2-km column of ash into the air and forcing evacuations of several villages closest to the volcano, official said on  Friday.

The 2,460-meter thigh volcano is located about 40 km NNW of the Lake Toba, the site of Toba supervolcano.

Toba’s latest supereruption, which occurred about 70,000 years (73,000 ± 4,000) ago, may have plunged Earth into a global volcanic winter of 6–10 years and possibly a 1,000-year-long cooling episode, according to Toba catastrophe theory.

It had an estimated volcanic explosivity index (VEI) of 8 (described as “Apocalyptic”), and was responsible for 2,800km³ of erupted matter, including 800 km³ of volcanic ash.

[FIRE-EARTH models show total erupted matter from the supereruption may have been as much as 20,000 km³.]

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Latest Global Emergencies – February 2015

Posted by feww on February 28, 2015

7 Million Afghans in need of humanitarian aid

Afghanistan: Some 3,700 civilians were killed and 6,850 others wounded in 2014, a 22% increase in casualties on 2013; there were 21% more women and 40% more children casualties (UNAMA/UNHCHR, 18/02/2015).

About 7 million are in need of humanitarian aid in 2015. Badghis, Helmand, Kunar, Nangarhar, and Wardak most need assistance (UNICEF, 21/01/2015, OCHA, 25/11/2014).

  • At least 805,400 IDPs were reported as of January 2015 (UNHCR, 31/12/2014).
  • 3.4 million people are severely food insecure, while 5.4 million need access to health services and 1.7 million need protection (IPC, 01/11/2014).
  • 517,600 children under five suffer from Severe Acute Malnutrition (SAM), and eight provinces show Global Acute Malnutrition (GAM) rates above 15%, breaching the emergency threshold. (UNICEF, 21/01/2015, OCHA, 31/07/2014).

Meantime, multiple avalanches in Afghanistan have buried more than a dozen villages killing hundreds of people and leaving many missing. The number is expected to rise, officials said.

Bolivia: Drought and Deluge

Drought has destroyed at least 120,000 hectares of soy crops and affecetd an addition 240,000 hectares in the municipalities of Cuatro Cañadas and Pailón in the eastern department of Santa Cruz, said the Association of Oilseed and Wheat Producers (ANAP), said a report.

Meantime, extreme rain events, severe hailstorms and widespread flooding  have affected 54 municipalities in six other Bolivian departments, 30 of which have declared states of emergency, killing dozens of people, affecting up to 100,000 people and destroying more than 8,000 hectares of crops.

Myanmar: Some 90,000 people have been displaced due to continuing violence between government troops and multiple armed groups in Kokang, Shan state. —ACAS

Kenya: The number of reported cholera cases has risen in the past week to 644, from 186. The outbreak was declared in Homa Bay, Migori, and Nairobi counties on 13 February. at least 17 people have died, most in Migori, and there are fears that the outbreak will spread due to the lack of safe drinking water. —ACAS

Nigeria: At least 564 cholera cases have been reported in Nigeria since January, with a fatality of rate of 8.3%. A resurgence of cases has occurred in Kano and Kaduna states. —ACAS

Mozambique and Malawi: Cholera Outbreak – Feb 2015

A cholera outbreak in Mozambique (started on 25 Dec 2014) has been exacerbated by extensive flooding since January 2015. As of 22 Feb, a total of 3,478 cholera cases had been recorded, with a death toll of 37. New cases continue to be reported in the provinces of Nampula, Niassa and Tete. (OCHA, 23 Feb 2015)

Malawi: On 13 Feb, the first confirmed case of cholera was registered in the country, whci borders Mozambique. To date 34 cases, including two deaths, have been confirmed in Nsanje district (all outside displacement sites), while another five cases were confirmed in Mwanza district. (OCHA, 25 Feb 2015)

Dominican Republic:
Heavy rainfall starting in mid-February 2015 caused flooding and landslides in the Dominican Republic. As of 21 Feb, more than 4,000 houses had been affected and 20,000 people were seeking shelter with family and friends. A red alert was in effect for three provinces. (Govt, 21 Feb 2015/Reliefweb/)

Southeast Europe

Torrential rains have caused major flooding in the southern and south-eastern parts of Albania since the beginning of February 2015. Some 42,000 people have been affected, numerous houses have been damaged, more than 3,500 heads of livestock killed, and 17,000 acres of farm land flooded. The Albanian Government is preparing to declare a state of emergency for the worst affected areas. (IFRC, 6 Feb 2015)

Macedonia: Torrential rains and snow melt have caused severe flooding the eastern region of the country. More than 170,000 people have been affected. (ECHO, 6 Feb 2015)

Bulgaria and Greece have also been affected by flooding.

Peru: Torrential rains and hail have triggered flooding and landslides, affecting several parts of Peru including Arequipa, Loreto, Cusco, Amazonas, and San Martin. Since the beginning of February 2015, various districts of the forest areas were under a state of emergency as a result of weeks of rains. In the departments of Loreto and San Martín, more than 30,000 people have been affected and 2,000 are homeless. An orange alert is active for the Amazon River and a red alert is active for other major rivers at the Peruvian jungle. Authorities are coordinating to provide aid to people affected by the ongoing rains, hail, flooding, and landslides. (OCHA, 9 Feb 2015)

Chile: Thousands of hectares of land stretching from northern to southern Chile have been affected by drought for eight years.

In many parts of Chile, January was one of the driest since records began, exacerbating the ongoing drought that started in 2007, said a Chilean meteorologist.

The drought is also hampering copper production, a water-intensive operation, in the world’s largest producer of the metal, said a report.


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Global Disasters/ Significant Events – September 21, 2013

Posted by feww on September 21, 2013

The Collapse Countdown Continues…

Powerful Typhoon USAGI Slams into N. Philippines

Packing sustained winds of 185km/h gusting up to 230 km/h, USAGI made landfall on Itbayat, the Philippine island closest to Taiwan on Batanes island group.

The typhoon has triggered severe flooding and landslides destroying homes, uprooting trees and power lines, and inundating croplands.

“A flash flood occurred and trees were uprooted from the mountain and swept by roiling waters to the town. Many houses lost their roofs or were destroyed. Damage to crops is heavy and landslides were reported all around.” A senior official and a former congressman for Batanes told Reuters

USAGI has already affected thousands of people, and portends more damage and destruction along its path.

The typhoon is moving slowly WNW at about 17 km/h toward southern China, according to several models.

USAGI passing through Luzon strait - NOAA
Typhoon USAGI as it passed through the Luzon Strait. Image recorded at 07:30UTC on September 20, 2013. Credit: NOAA


Flooding in Mexico Become the Country’s Costliest Disasters

Devastation caused by flooding and mudslides triggered by twin storms INGRID and MANUEL have affected hundreds of towns and villages in Mexico, leaving at least 100 people dead and many dozens missing.

Tens of thousands of people have been displaced, including at least 50,000 residents in the resort town of Acapulco.

All the dams in the country are practically at 100 percent. This is very serious,” according to Evaluacion de Riesgos Naturales, a Mexican natural disaster risk assessment company.

Scores of highways, bridges and other public infrastructure have been completely destroyed by the flooding and mudslides.


US Air Force nearly detonated hydrogen bomb over North Carolina

The US Air Force nearly detonated an atom bomb over North Carolina that would have been 260 times more powerful than the Hiroshima atom bomb, said a report.

Two Mark 39 hydrogen bombs, each with a payload of 4 megatons, were accidentally dropped over Goldsboro, North Carolina on 23 January 1961, after a B-52 bomber broke up in mid-air.

“The MK Mod 2 bomb did not possess adequate safety for the airborne alert role in the B-52,” wrote Parker F. Jones, supervisor of the nuclear weapons safety department at Sandia National Laboratories in his 1969 assessment.

One of the two bombs that fell to earth, “behaved precisely as a nuclear weapon was designed to behave in warfare: its parachute opened, its trigger mechanisms engaged, and only one low-voltage switch prevented untold carnage.”

“One simple, dynamo-technology, low voltage switch stood between the United States and a major catastrophe…It would have been bad news – in spades.” Jones said.

Nuclear fallout from a 4-megaton detonation would have put millions of lives at risk in large portion of eastern United States encompassing major cities like Washington DC, New York City, Philadelphia and Baltimore.

nuclear bomb

The document detailing the incident was obtained by the investigative journalist Eric Schlosser under the Freedom of Information Act.

The US government had previously denied that any such incident ever took place.

“The US government has consistently tried to withhold information from the American people in order to prevent questions being asked about our nuclear weapons policy,” Schlosser told the UK Guardian. “We were told there was no possibility of these weapons accidentally detonating, yet here’s one that very nearly did.”

Schlosser says he discovered at least 700 “significant” incidents involving nuclear weapons between 1950 and 1968 at the height of nuclear arms race between the US and the Soviet Union.


IAEA Members Vote Down Resolution on Israeli Nukes

A resolution sponsored by Arab countries calling on Israel to join the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty has been voted down by 51 countries including the U.S., Japan and dozens of Israel-first European countries.

Some 43 other nations voted in favor of the resolution, which was put to vote in Vienna on Friday.


Two dozen killed, 55 wounded in Nairobi shopping mall shooting

A group of 5 to 10 gunmen, armed with AK-47 assault rifles and grenades, attacked the Westgate shopping mall in the Kenyan capital Nairobi midday Saturday, killing at least two dozen people and leaving 55 others wounded.

“We are treating this as a terrorist attack,” said police chief Benson Kibue, adding that there are likely no more than 10 attackers involved.

The Westgate Mall is situated in Nairobi’s affluent Westlands area and is frequented by wealthy Kenyans and expatriates, reports said.


Posted in Climate Change, disaster calendar, disaster diary, disaster watch, disaster watch 2013, disaster zone, Global Disaster watch, global disasters, global disasters 2013, Significant Event Imagery, significant events | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

Many Dead or Displaced after Clashes on Kenya-Ethiopia Border

Posted by feww on September 8, 2013

Clan violence leaves dozens dead, tens of thousands displaced on Kenya-Ethiopia border

Up to 40,000 people from about 6,500 households have been forced to abandon their homes, according to aid agencies.

Two days of inter-clan fighting among the Gabra, Burji and Borana communities has left dozens of people killed, houses torched, gunfire exchanged, business come to a standstill and up to 40,000 people flee their homes, in the areas of Somare and Teti.

Most of the displaced have crossed into Ethiopia, and are in urgent need of food assistance, shelter, drugs, water, cooking utensils, clothing and mosquito nets, among other things, said IRIN.

Scores of children, as well as adults, were still separated from their families, while others were missing, said aid agencies.

All primary and secondary schools in the region remained closed since September 2 because both the teachers and students remained displaced, too afraid of renewed violence to return home, the report said.

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Global Disasters/ Significant Events – 4 May 2013

Posted by feww on May 4, 2013

100 killed or injured, 100,000 displaced as flash floods devastate parts of Kenya

Flash floods triggered by extreme rain events have left about 80 people dead, 20 injured and more than 100,000 others displaced in Rift Valley, eastern, western and central Kenya. 

Floods have caused widespread devastation, destroying much of the harvest, property and infrastructure throughout the affected areas.


California wildfires

Springs Fire in Ventura County has blackened more than 30,000 acres, but was 30% contained as of posting.

  • Some 4,000 firefighters are tackling six significant wildfires in California, the state fire agency says.
  • Fire crews have tackled more than 700 wildfires so far this year, about 250 more than average for the period.
  • Hundreds of residences were under evacuation order, as of posting.


State of Emergency Declared in Guatemala

The Guatemalan government has declared states of emergency in four towns near a controversial silver mine after clashes between police and anti-mining protesters in the southeast of the country.

  • The government has outlawed gatherings in the towns of Jalapa and Mataquescuinlta, and the areas of Casillas and San Rafael Las Flores.


Saudi evacuates villages after dam partially collapses

Several villages in southern Saudi Arabia were evacuated after a dam partially collapsed due to heavy rains, Al Arabia Channel reported.


1,043 Days Left 

Mass die-offs resulting from human impact and the planetary response to the anthropogenic assault could occur by early 2016.

  • SYMBOLIC COUNTDOWN: 1,043 Days Left to ‘Worst Day’ in the brief Human  History
  • The countdown began on May 15, 2011 …


Global Disasters: Links, Forecasts and Background

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Global Disasters/ Significant Events Headlines – 11 April 2013

Posted by feww on April 11, 2013

N. Korea’s missile launchpad moves into firing position

Japanese government is on high alert after defense officials said their satellite images showed North Korea (NK) had raised a missile launcher located in eastern part of the country.

  • Meantime, military analysts speculate that NK probably would launch multiple medium-range missiles simultaneously or within a short period.
  • “There are clear signs that the North could simultaneously fire off Musudan, Scud and Nodong missiles,” South Korea’s Yonhap news agency quoted an anonymous military source as saying.
  • S. Korea is currently on “Watchcon 2” military alert, the highest alert level before going into “state of war,” due to the  “vital threat” from North Korean missiles.

Flash floods kill dozens, displace tens of thousands in Kenya

At least 32 people were killed and more than 20,000 others displaced by flash floods triggered by extreme rain events in Kenya.

  • “Several parts of the country especially the Coast and Western Kenya regions have been affected by flooding following an increased heavy downpour countrywide,” according to Kenya’s Red Cross Society (KRCS).
  • Rainstorms and Floods have caused widespread destruction to property and the infrastructure, and severely disrupted farming in the affected regions, especially in Western Kenya, the Coastal region, and parts of Rift Valley.

Flash floods hit Panua nature preserve, Sulawesi island, Indonesia

“Residents have been evacuated and several trans-Sulawesi roads have been cut off after flash floods hit the Panua nature preserve in Pohuwato, Gorontalo,” said a report.


1,066 Days Left 

Mass die-offs resulting from human impact and the planetary response to the anthropogenic assault could occur by early 2016.

  • SYMBOLIC COUNTDOWN: 1,066 Days Left to ‘Worst Day’ in the brief Human  History
  • The countdown began on May 15, 2011 …


Global Disasters: Links, Forecasts and Background

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World Food Security

Posted by feww on March 22, 2009

Africa: Food Security Alert

East Africa

Dry conditions will continue to persist, affecting pasture and water availability and animal body conditions until the March-May season begins. This season will be critical for pastoral livelihoods. A delay or below-normal performance of the March to May rains could cause a worsening of the current high/extreme food insecurity, particularly in Kenya, Somalia, Ethiopia, and Djibouti.

Due to the combined affects of recurrent below-normal rainfall and varied country-specific factors such as, insecurity and civil conflict, high fuel and food prices, inappropriate policy actions (such as export trade bans) about 17 million people remain highly to extremely food insecure in the region.

WEST AFRICA Food Security Alert

Above-average prices threaten food security in West Africa

The 2008/09 growing season in West Africa resulted in above-average harvests sufficient to meet regional demand. Cereal prices, however, did not decrease as much, or for as long, as would be expected following such a harvest. As prices in the region were already above the five-year average for the period prior to the harvest, early post-harvest price increases could lead to moderate, high, or extreme food insecurity for net consumers by the start of the June-September hunger season.

Most Likely Food Security Scenario for West Africa, April – June 2009. Source: FEWS NET


Somalia Food Security Alert
Resources urgently required to address extreme food insecurity

At least 3.2 million Somalis in urban centers, rural areas, and IDP camps will require humanitarian assistance through June 2009. While overall conditions in Somalia are not expected to improve over the next six months, delivery of humanitarian aid has become increasingly difficult as a result of increased targeting of humanitarian workers, deteriorating civil security, political tensions, and renewed armed conflict.

Current estimated food security conditions (January-June 2009)

Recent short rains (October to December) were largely inadequate in most parts of the country leading to an extended dry period – a lean season for pastoralists – which affected crop development, pasture growth, and water availability. As a result, rangeland resources are dwindling in many key grazing areas and the deyr harvest is 46 percent below the five‐year average and 48 percent below the post war (1995‐2007) crop production average. Although sorghum belt regions of Bay and Bakool had a near‐normal harvest, the ‘bread basket’ areas of Juba and Shabelle valleys, where the bulk of annual cereal production occurs, experienced an almost complete short‐rains crop failure.


The food security status of an estimated 2.5 million pastoralists, agropastoralists and marginal agricultural farm households has deteriorated to critical levels, following the failure of the short-rains season in December 2008, compounded by adverse impacts of high food prices, conflict and livestock disease. An additional 850,000 school children(1) are to be included in the expanded School Feeding Program; 150,000 persons displaced by the post-election crisis and at least 4.1 million urban dwellers are extremely food insecure and are having difficulty meeting their food needs on a predictable basis. The GoK has estimated that an additional 1.9 million persons are food insecure due to adverse impacts of HIV/AIDs.


Ethiopia continues to face high levels of food insecurity, with an estimated 12.4 million people considered currently food insecure. A total of 7.5 million people will be covered under the Productive Safety Net Program (PSNP), whilst 4.9 million people require emergency food assistance from January to June 2009.

Food security in the belg crop producing parts of the country is threatened by a delayed and erratic start of the belg rains. If the rains remain poor, a second consecutive below average harvest will occur in these already chronically food insecure parts of the country. Close monitoring of the seasonal rains through the end of the season is required.

The national inflation rate in February 2009 was 46.1 percent, with food inflation at 61.1 percent and a non food inflation rate of 24.2 percent. The price of maize, the food most widely consumed by the poor, is 130 percent higher than the 2004 2008 average and 47 percent higher than that of February 2008. The food security of households that spend a significant proportion of their income on food will continue to be negatively affected due to the high and rising staple food prices. FEWS. Full report


High prices create critical food access problems in Southern Malawi

The availability of affordable maize has been a critical problem in southern Malawi this year, and low and middle‐income households are struggling to access enough maize to meet their consumption needs. Last season’s poor production in the south, particularly in Mwanza, Zomba, Machinga, Mulanje, Phalombe, Balaka, and Blantyre districts, has made a larger proportion of households dependent on market purchases than normal, while retail prices of maize and cassava have been rising to abnormally high levels throughout the marketing year (April‐March).


In the worst-case scenario, the majority of the country will be highly to severely food insecure. The triggers for this situation include a resumption of military conflict in the east, poor implementation of programs to control prices by the government, and shortages of fodder, animal feed, and drinking water.

Other areas


A third of the country’s population is food insecure, with the highest concentrations in areas where current harvests have been below‐normal, and where damage from last season’s storms was most intense (e.g., Gonaives and Belle Anse). Despite the below‐normal rainfall forecast for the coming season, a sustained decline in international food prices should mitigate food insecurity over the next few months. However, the extended forecast for the 2009 Atlantic hurricane season, which begins in June, suggests above‐normal hurricane activity this year. In combination with the effects of the U.S. economic recession, severe storms could undermine food security and lead to increased assistance needs.


In the worst-case scenario, international wheat prices will increase due to a reduced 2009 global wheat harvest. Kazakhstan may elect to not sell cereals to Afghanistan. The government of Pakistan could also prevent the transshipment of 250,000 MT of Indian-donated wheat through Pakistan.


Food availability in the north, which was recently affected by Tropical Depression 16, is about to improve with the coming harvest, although the maize crop could be hampered by plagues and diseases. The government is currently evaluating the damage in those areas.

Nominal prices for the basic food basket continue to rise, making food access difficult for landless rural and urban populations.

Source: FEWS NET Executive Overview of Food Security

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“We thought that it was Jesus who had come back”

Posted by feww on September 4, 2008

Folks, it ain’t Jesus; it’s Human-induced climate change. Ask your local teacher to tell you about the effects of GHG Emissions!

The ferocious storm in Busara, about 260 km northwest of the capital, Nairobi, turned parts of central Kenya white with a massive hailstorm.

Villagers play with snow after heavy hailstorms hit a deforested hillside in Gikingi Village in Nyahururu town, some 220km from Nairobi, September 3, 2008. REUTERS/Antony Njuguna. Image may be subject to copyright.

“We thought a big white sheet had been spread, so we decided to come and see for ourselves. We thought that it was Jesus who had come back,” a villager said.

“The hailstones falling on the ground joined together to form expansive sheets of ice or snow flakes occupying a large area, 30 acres,” meteorologists said. the storm was caused “the convergence of cold air currents from the Indian Ocean and warm air currents from the Congo.”

“In fact this thing is very sweet, we have never seen anything like this. We like the ice so much because with the sun being hot, you take it and you feel satisfied,” another villager said.

Kenya straddles the equator. “The only snow to be seen in normally sunny Kenya is on top of the country’s highest mountain, 5,199-meter (17,057 ft) Mount Kenya.” Reuters said.

Related Links:

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Climate Change: A Quickscan

Posted by feww on July 28, 2008

Do You Feel Lucky in 2008?

Ukraine: Worst floods in 100 years

Floods caused by 5 days of nonstop rain kill up to 20 people, mostly children. A senior government official described the floods as the worst in 100 years. More than 20,000 homes have been flooded and 7,000 people evacuated.

Ukraine's President Viktor Yushchenko (3rd L) visits a settlement affected by floods in the Ivano-Frankivsk region July 27, 2008. Floods described by a senior government official as the worst in a century have killed 13 people in western Ukraine and four in neighboring Romania, officials said on Sunday. REUTERS/Mykhailo Markiv/pool

President Viktor Yushchenko flew to the worst affected area in the Ivano-Frankivsk region after leaving early a service in Kiev marking the 1,020th anniversary of the adoption of Orthodox Christianity in the region. Reuters reported.


Up to 10,000 people from 200 villages were evacuated as 2,500 houses and 25,000 hectares of farmland were flooded. At least 4 people were killed, including a child who drowned.

“We have two critical situations, on the rivers Siret and Prut,” Romanian Prime Minister said.

“So you understand the gravity of the situation, water levels on the river Prut next to the borders with Ukraine and Moldova are higher than on the Danube.”

New Zealand: Worst weather in 50 years.

g at least three dead and as many as 100,000 homes without electricity. About 10,000 tourists were stranded. [In 2008, New Zealand has thus far experienced the worst deforestation rates,worst snow storms, worst floods, worst drought and worst storms in 50 years.]

South Korea: Worst Floods in 50 Years

Up to 20 people were killed or reported as missing as the fourth day of torrential rains lashed parts of South Korea . In the worst-hit areas of North Gyeongsang province, up to 250 mm of rain
in a 24-hour period caused landslides and flooding forcing people to evacuate their homes.


Cholera outbreak has affected eight districts in Nyanza and Western provinces. Over 80% of cholera transmission has been attributed to lack of access to safe drinking/domestic water. About 75% of the water sources are contaminated.


Some three months after Cyclone Nargis struck the country inflicting immense damage, as many as 700,000 children are still in need of assistance. The cyclone destroyed or damaged about 750,000 homes, affected about 2.4 million people and destroyed three quarters of the local health facilities. “In addition, the cyclone struck a severe blow to people’s livelihoods by flooding 600,000 hectares of agricultural land, killing up to 50 per cent of livestock in the affected areas, and destroying fishing boats, food stocks and agricultural implements. According to the report, the damages and losses amount to $4 billion.” UNICEF reported.


Typhoon Fung-Wong with winds up to 147km/h (92 mph) struck the east coast of Taiwan today with heavy rains, forcing schools and businesses to close. In July 18, tropical storm Kalmaegi struck southern Taiwan, which left 20 people killed and 6 missing. “A Central Weather Bureau forecaster was quoted as saying the total rainfall may reach 900mm (35 inches).” BBC reported.

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Food Riots Break Out in Bangladesh and Kenya

Posted by feww on June 2, 2008

See Main Entry: We Need Food!

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