Ethiopia: Two million animals have been lost to a “devastating” drought, says UNFAO – Published 13 Aug 2017 1245z (GMT/UTC)

The Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO) has said that two million animals have been lost to a “devastating” drought in Ethiopia.

Healthy animals = elimination of hunger = healthy people = sustainable food production. – FAO

The UN agriculture agency said that the drought had devastated herders’ livelihoods as it exhausted pastures and water sources.

(Image: UNFAO)

It said the current food and nutrition crisis was significantly aggravated by the severe blow to pastoral livelihoods. “For livestock-dependent families, the animals can literally mean the difference between life and death – especially for children, pregnant and nursing mothers, for whom milk is a crucial source of nutrition.

“With up to two million animals lost so far, FAO is focusing on providing emergency livestock support to the most vulnerable pastoralist communities through animal vaccination and treatment, supplementary feed and water, rehabilitating water points, and supporting fodder and feed production”. FAO stressed that supporting the herders to get back on their feet and prevent further livestock losses was crucial in the Horn of Africa country, where hunger had been on the rise. “The drought has led to a significant number of animals dying or falling ill, particularly in the southern and south-eastern regions of the country, as other areas recover from previous seasons’ El Niño-induced drought,” the UN agency warned. It also said that drought-hit pastoralists were facing reduced milk production, rising malnutrition, and had limited income-earning capacity and severely constrained access to food. Abdoul Bah, FAO deputy representative in Ethiopia, said “some 8.5 million people – one in 12 people – are now suffering from hunger; of these, 3.3 million people live in Somali Region. “It is crucial to provide this support between now and October – when rains are due – to begin the recovery process and prevent further losses of animals. If we don’t act now, hunger and malnutrition will only get worse among pastoral communities.” According to Bah, by providing supplementary feed and water for livestock, while simultaneously supporting fodder production, FAO seeks to protect core breeding animals and enable drought-hit families to rebuild their livelihoods. In addition to FAO-supported destocking and cash-for-work programmes to provide cash for families, he said animal health campaigns would be reinforced to protect animals, particularly before the rain sets in – when they are at their weakest and more susceptible to parasites or infectious diseases. Bah said FAO urgently required $20 million between August and December to come to the aid of Ethiopia’s farmers and herders. “FAO has already assisted almost 500,000 drought-hit people in 2017 through a mix of livestock feed provision, de-stocking and animal health interventions,” he said. The support was courtesy of the Ethiopia humanitarian fund, Switzerland, Spain and Sweden through FAO’s special fund for emergency and rehabilitation activities, the UN central emergency response fund, as well as FAO’s own early warning early action (EWEA) fund and technical cooperation programme.

RSOE August 12 2017 01:23 PM (UTC).

Urgent support is needed in drought-stricken Ethiopia – @FAOemergencies

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Uganda: 130 dead,450 missing,feared buried, in massive landslides – Updated 28 June 2012 1327 GMT/UTC

More than 100 people are missing and about 30 confirmed dead in eastern Uganda after a landslide buried villages.

On Monday, the Uganda Red Cross said at least 18 people had been killed, but yesterday government officials said the number of fatalities was higher and that 109 people were still missing around Mt Elgon, a major coffee-growing area.

Heavy rain triggered a mudslide on Monday that cut through trees and bushes, burying two villages in mud, officials said, adding that 178 people had survived.

The search operation was called off yesterday officials said the chances of finding survivors were slim. “It is feared the landslide and floods buried about 29 homes with about 30 people dead,” said Stephen Mallinga, the minister of disaster preparedness and refugees.

He said the timing of the disaster – 2pm – had prevented more fatalities as many people were either at the market or at school.

Up to 400,000 people could require humanitarian aid as the rain intensified, forcing them to abandon their homes, he added.

Survivors fretted about the possibility of more landslides.

“I fear that the thing could come again and sweep me away. It happened in seconds. The trees were shaking and the soil was going down,” said 26-year-old Julius Wabuteya.

He said he had found his pregnant wife knee-deep in mud and had managed to pull her out and rush her to hospital to seek treatment for her injuries. Others were not so lucky.

Mary Lubango, who wailed in grief at the scene of the landslide, said she had lost several relatives when the landslide struck.

A village woman mourns after a landslide in Uganda, June 26, 2012
(Click image for source)

Tuesday, 26 June, 2012 at 05:30 (05:30 AM) UTC RSOE

UPDATE: 28 June, 2012

Rescue workers in Uganda yesterday June 26 ended the search for the dead, concentrating on looking after the injured and displaced.

An estimated 450 people are believed to have been buried in massive landslides

on Monday June 25 in the villages of Namaga and Bunakasala, Bududa District in the eastern part of the country near Mount Elgon.

(Image: BBC)
Uganda landslides: Sad picture speaks for itself….
(Click image for source)

The area was said to have experienced heavy rain for a number of days before Monday’s disaster struck.

Reports said only about 18 bodies had been recovered.

David Wakikona, a legislator from the region said most people were likely indoors when huge blocks of mud and rocks started to roll down hills, toppling homes, killing livestock and burying people alive. According to him, at least 300 people lived in the three affected villages.

A survivor, Rachael Namwono told Uganda’s Monitor newspaper that the ground quaked at 2 pm local time, followed by heavy rumbling of soil and stones which covered their home in the mountainous district.

Officials from Bududa confirmed that the final death toll would likely be in hundreds.

The Disaster Preparedness Minister, Stephen Mallinga said he also expected the death toll to rise as mud is removed from the affected villages, adding that moving the mud had so far proved difficult.

Minister Mallinga said many residents were refusing to move to safer locations as villages near Mount Elgon have fertile land and fewer cases of malaria.

He told the BBC that his government will eventually pass a law to relocate people from the top and sides of the mountain.

Even those who were relocated to a camp for refugees after the 2010 landslides secretly returned to Bududa, Mallinga explained.

A Red Cross official, Michael Nataka told Reuters news agency that the total number at risk in the buried areas was 448.

He said the Mount Elgon area has so many places with cracks and that each time there is prolonged rainfall, water seeps into the cracks, eventually causing landslides. Landslides are a common occurrence in the hilly parts of eastern Uganda.

They have been especially lethal over the years in villages where the land is denuded of vegetation cover.

Massive landslides in Bududa in 2010 killed about 100 people, destroying everything from the village market to a church.

Wednesday, 27 June, 2012 at 12:51 UTC RSOE