Somali drought claims 110 lives in 2 days

Dead goats in a parched north-eastern Somalia last December. Drought has caused widespread food shortage and a UN agency estimates that up to 270,000 children will suffer from severe malnutrition.
Dead goats in a parched north-eastern Somalia last December. Drought has caused widespread food shortage and a UN agency estimates that up to 270,000 children will suffer from severe malnutrition.PHOTO: AGENCE FRANCE-PRESSE

MOGADISHU • Some 110 people have died in southern Somalia in the space of two days from famine and diarrhoea as a result of a drought, the Prime Minister said.

The area is bracing itself for widespread shortages of food.

Last month, United Nations children's agency Unicef said that the drought in Somalia could lead to up to 270,000 children suffering from severe malnutrition this year.

"It is a difficult situation for the pastoralists and their livestock. Some people have been hit by famine and diarrhoea at the same time.

"In the last 48 hours, 110 people died due to famine and diarrhoea in the Bay region," Prime Minister Hassan Ali Khaire's office said, in a statement released on Saturday after a meeting of a famine response committee.

"The Somali government will do its best, and we urge all Somalis, wherever they are, to help and save the dying Somalis."

In 2011, some 260,000 people starved to death from famine in Somalia.

The country also continues to be rocked by security problems, with the capital Mogadishu, and other regions controlled by the federal government, coming under regular attack from the Al Shabaab militant group, which is linked to Al-Qaeda.

REUTERS

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on March 06, 2017, with the headline 'Somali drought claims 110 lives in 2 days'. Print Edition | Subscribe