As the UN emergency aid organization OCHA reported on Wednesday, the number of deaths in Somalia has risen to 96 and 746,000 people have fled their towns and villages to escape the floods. A total of two million people are expected to be affected in the country in the Horn of Africa.
The situation is also getting worse in neighboring Kenya. Raymond Omollo, the interior minister of the East African country, spoke at a crisis meeting on Tuesday about at least 120 deaths. In addition, people from almost 90,000 households fled the floods and were accommodated in 120 makeshift camps. He did not provide any information about the total number of those affected.
The floods are a result of the persistent rain associated with the El Niño weather phenomenon. Aid organizations have already warned of a rising number of cases of cholera and other diseases caused by stagnant water in affected areas. The situation is particularly dramatic in rural areas and urban slums without sewage systems.
In recent years, Somalia, but also northeastern Kenya and parts of Ethiopia have been severely affected by drought. The rainy seasons, which actually occur twice a year, occurred five times in a row.
The El Niño phenomenon, caused by a warming of the tropical Pacific, causes, among other things, a “reversal” of the weather with heavy rain in drought areas and drought in otherwise rainy areas. The phenomenon can usually be observed every two to seven years. According to climate researchers, advancing global warming is increasing particularly violent El Niño events.
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