Drought conditions in southern Ethiopia causing human fatalities: Report


Drought conditions in the Borena zone of Ethiopia’s Oromia regional state have started causing human fatalities, a report from the Amharic language desk of Deutsche Welle (DW) disclosed on Monday.

Citing multiple firsthand eyewitness testimonies, DW reported several people have died from drought-induced hunger-related issues in the Borena zone located in the southern part of the Oromia region.

[File photo: © European Union, 2022 (photographer: Silvya Bolliger)]

The report also stated livestock which are the primary means of wealth and livelihood in the area have nearly completely been wiped out because of the drought.

“People have reached their final stage of hunger and started dying. I have already started participating in mourning ceremonies for the deceased,” Malicha Mole, a resident of Teltele district, Borena zone told DW Amharic.

“The drought which is entering its fifth month has killed both my cattle and prevented me from planting crops,” Malicha further told DW.

Another Borena zone pastoralist told DW he knows of at least four people in his locality alone who have died of hunger-related causes.

DW citing Borena zone officials disclosed at least 2.3 million livestock have perished while 800,000 people are in need of emergency food aid due to the drought condition which is in its fifth month.

The DW report stated the severe drought conditions have also affected millions of people in other parts of Oromia, Sidama region, Somali region, Southern region as well as Southwest region.

In what could be a silver lining for the current disastrous drought conditions, DW cited an Ethiopian Metrological Agency official who predicted the belated onset of Belg (Spring) rains could ease the drought conditions eventually.

Belg rains usually start in February every year and continue until May.

The disastrous drought conditions are catching local and international headlines as elsewhere Ethiopians are reeling from a series of corrupt public sector practices that have been uncovered on social media in recent weeks.

The disastrous drought condition revelation also comes a few days after Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed told African leaders Ethiopia has started wheat export and plans to be a continental food exporter powerhouse.

With the state media firmly under the total control of the ruling Prosperity Party (PP) and other avenues of public dissent strictly prohibited, Ethiopians are taking to social media to vent their anger and frustration at the country’s numerous ills, including widespread corruption, human rights abuse and deadly drought conditions.

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