Ethiopians in need of food aid due to La Nina

Posted by: Saving Water SA (Cape Town, South Africa) – partnered with Water Rhapsody conservation systems – 28 April 2011

By: Aaron Maasho

More than two million Ethiopians are in need of food aid due to drought caused by one of the worst La Nina weather phenomenon in a decade, the United Nations said.

Oromiya Region, Ethiopia. Photo by Andrew Heavens

La Nina, which was blamed for Australia’s floods this year, is an abnormal cooling of waters in the Pacific Ocean that wreaks havoc with weather patterns across the Asia-Pacific region, and has brought poor rains to the Horn of Africa.

The U.N. humanitarian affairs office (UNOCHA) said the March-May rainy season had largely failed in Ethiopia’s lowland areas, and appealed for $75 million in food and other assistance to meet the needs of two million people.

“Pasture and traditional water sources un-replenished by rains have been depleted in most of the affected areas,” UNOCHA said in a report released late on Wednesday.

“Animal body conditions are declining rapidly, resulting in lower livestock prices at market even as the price of staple cereals is increasing.”

An additional one million people are also seeking relief aid throughout Ethiopia — one of the world’s largest recipients of foreign aid, receiving more than $3 billion in 2008, according to the New York-based Human Rights Watch (HRW). Continue reading