MOGADISHU, Somalia — On Saturday, Prime Minister Hassan Ali Khaire confirmed 110 Somalis from the Bay region in the southwest part of the country have already died in the past 48 hours due to the severe drought the country faces right now.
Somalia’s government announced the drought a national disaster on Tuesday, February 28, partly caused by the El Niño weather phenomenon which has affected east and southern Africa.
Aside from the Bay region, local news outlet Alldhacdo reported dozens of deaths due to cholera in the town of Awdinle, as the disease is often spread due to lack of clean drinking water.
“The drought response committee briefed the PM about the humanitarian crises in the country that is threatening the lives of the people and their livestock who are on the brink of dying from hunger and watery diarrhea disease,” Khaire’s office said.
Khaire has asked “business people and everyone to contribute to the drought response efforts aimed at saving the lives of the millions of Somalis dying of hunger and lack of water.”
Between 2010 and 2012, United Nations and the United States Agency for International Development had reported that famine in Somalia killed roughly 258,000 people. Currently, more than 6.2 million people faces food insecurity and lack of clean water because of rivers that are drying up and recent years with little rain.
UNICEF lists Somalia among four nations where a potential total of 1.4 million children could die of severe acute malnutrition as famine rises. Included on the list is South Sudan, Nigeria and Yemen.