Climate Change: East Africa Needs Urgent Response

Climate crisis

Over four million people in East Africa facing the devastating impact of massive floods need urgent humanitarian assistance.

Development Diaries reports that torrential rains, which began in October 2023, have killed hundreds of people, washed away thousands of homes, and destroyed thousands of hectares of farmers’ crops in Kenya, Somalia, and Ethiopia.

Nearly two million people across these countries have also fled their homes and farms.

The region is battling the harsh impacts of the climate crisis despite contributing so little to greenhouse gas emissions.

In Somalia alone, the heavy October-December rains have killed over 100 people and devastated one-fifth of the harvest in South Central Somalia, including 1,400 metric tonnes of sorghum in Juba and Shabelle.

In neighbouring Kenya, the unrelenting floods have displaced over 500,000 people after washing away thousands of their homes, devastating over 21,000 acres of their farmland, and killing 13,500 of their livestock.

Similarly, in Ethiopia’s Somali region, hundreds of thousands have been displaced. The destruction of several roads has hampered transportation and caused prices of food and basic commodities to soar.

These events highlight the horrid climate injustice meted out to disadvantaged countries and communities.

‘The scale and frequency of climate destruction in East Africa paint a stark picture of the abhorrent climate injustice against disadvantaged countries and communities facing climate extremes’, said Oxfam Africa’s Director, Fati N’zi-Hassane.

‘At this year’s COP28, rich polluting nations, largely responsible for the climate crisis, must honor their obligation to provide climate finance for adaptation and loss and damage, so that East African countries can free up resources to support impacted communities adapt, recover and rebuild their lives’.

The time to focus on implementing climate justice and financing across Africa is now if dire humanitarian situations are to be avoided.

Development Diaries, therefore, calls for environmental justice and an equitable distribution of the burdens of climate change and the efforts to mitigate them, especially in Africa.

Photo source: Rodd Waddington


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