The Human Catastrophe that Will Test Our Humanity
Famine is a reality that will not go away more so for countries which are seriously affected by global climate change, and seriously caught up in the West’s politics of survival in the global economic crisis which involves such unethical practices as land grab and biotechnology.
The Kenyan based early warning system on famine raised the first alarm in October 2010. However it takes response to alarms to alert others a response which might have some political dragging of feet when it comes to Kenya, Ethiopia and the U.S. in regards to Somalia.
Somehow the looming disaster was kept quiet like the pledges made world leaders to developing countries under the Copenhagen Accord to cope with the growing problem of drought. To date only 4% of those pledged have been fulfilled by countries which consume most of the global wealth and resources, while countries like Somalia continue to pay the high price.
‘Messages’ comes in threes, Katrina, Haiti, Somalia, all have one thing in common besides scale, revealing a global attitude that stands at the foundation of the kind of global injustices the fruit of which the failing modern global economic system has engorged itself upon… Until this stands corrected we as humanity will face tougher times more than the multi-crises circulating the globe currently until we address the balance.
Drought has plunged East Africa into the worst food security crisis Africa has faced in 20 years. Over 11.5 million people are currently in need of food in Djibouti, Kenya, Somalia, and Ethiopia.
Plants growth during the growing season for the crop normally harvested in June and July. The plants were growing below average.
Planting season is March – April, when the first rains of the year fall. In 2011, the rains were late, falling in late April and May, and poor. The crops were planted late and are only now being harvested. In southern Somalia, currently the most severely impacted region, the harvest is expected to be 50% below average, according to the Famine Early Warning Systems Network. Pastures are also sparse, putting stress on livestock.
The poor harvest and lack of pasture in July compounds existing food security problems. The previous crop, harvested early in the year, was also poor. In Somalia, the harvest was less than 20% of the average harvest, and people began to run short on food in April – bad harvests = rising food prices.
On July 20, the United Nations declared a famine in parts of southern Somalia.
Over the past three months, tens of thousands of people have died in Somalia. The food security crisis is the worst since 1991-92. The drought behind the crisis is the worst in the region in the last 60 years.
The drought is linked to the strong La Niña conditions that prevailed in late 2010 and early 2011. La Niña shifts ocean temperatures and air pressure over the Pacific Ocean, and its effects ripple through weather patterns around the world. In East Africa, La Niña causes drought. La Niña conditions have ended, and the Famine Early Warning Systems Network predicts normal rains for East Africa later in the year, though it will take far longer for the region to recover.
Who will slay the dragon?