The precipice of a raging food catastrophe
(Photo by Upesh Manoush on Unsplash)

The precipice of a raging food catastrophe

Persistent drought in the horn of Africa has depleted pasture used for grazing livestock - a source of income and nourishment.

Summary: Persistent drought in the Horn of Africa (Ethiopia, Eritrea, Somalia and Djibouti, but can be extended to include parts of Kenya, Sudan, South Sudan and Uganda) has impacted the growth of shrubs and grasses that livestock depend on. In turn that livestock is the primary source of both income and nourishment for the local population. The UN Secretary General recently declared that "we are on the way to a raging food catastrophe" with almost 26 million people facing extreme hunger in the area. With international aid efforts under pressure the situation could worsen.

Why this is important: The situation in the Horn of Africa foreshadows similar shocks to the food system globally.

The big theme: Water is the critical resource to sustain life on this planet. It is essential for our bodies and those of the other living species on the planet as well as being an important resource in industry. Its availability, especially in potable form, is a macro risk factor as well as being an opportunity for innovation that investors can drive. Climate change is impacting the availability and usability of water in both developing and developed regions of the world with knock on effects on agriculture and livelihoods as well as health and well-being. A rethink of how we manage water and how we cultivate food may be essential to ensure our long term sustainability.

The details

Summary of a story from Inside Climate News:

Persistent drought in the Horn of Africa ('HOA')has resulted in depletion of important pasture used for grazing livestock. There aren't enough boreholes available which has resulted in herders having to travel a long way to find water and pasture - although those two are not necessarily found in the same places. This means that increasingly that valuable livestock is dying en route depriving locals of both a primary source of income and nourishment.

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