El Nino affects over 30m in southern Africa

El Nino affects over 30m in southern Africa

Nairobi. — More than 30 million people are reportedly said to be affected by El Nino in southern Africa, with maize output having dropped by 30 percent in South Africa alone, IRIN News reports.

Steadily gaining strength since March year, this year’s El Nino proves to have even more devastating effects in its wake, with weather systems being adversely impacted around the world, the report said. El Nino causes a warming in sea surface temperatures in the equatorial Pacific, and can lead to unusually heavy rains in some parts of the world and drought elsewhere.

Although various factors have contributed to Africa’s food security issues in recent years, farmers will have an even harder time this year, with many still attempting to recover from the effect of the El Nino in 2015.

The worst affected countries in the southern Africa region in 2016 will be Zimbabwe, Angola, South Africa, Botswana, Swaziland, Zambia, Mozambique and Lesotho. Al Jazeera reported in November that at least 11 million children in eastern and southern Africa face hunger, disease and water shortages as a result of the strongest El Nino weather phenomenon in decades.

Quoting the United Nations Children Fund (Unicef), the report said the worst affected country is Ethiopia, which has the second-largest population in Africa and is suffering through its worst drought in 30 years.

More than eight million Ethiopians need food aid, and the number could rise to 15 million by early 2016, the United Nations said. — News24.

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