Monday, October 19, 2015

Ethiopia facing a drought worst than 1984-85, predicted to touch over 25% of the 99 Million

 Ethiopian drought and famine of 1984 and 1985 killed millions,today, predicted to touch over 25% of the 99 Million  In 80's it  was the cause du jour in the West. Pop musicians repeatedly made mediocre music —sometimes even offensive music — to raise money for its victims.
Ethiopia has changed a lot since then. It now lays claim to the world’s fastest-growing economy, which is overseen by a government that has managed to halve the poverty rate in just 20 years. They did this by running Africa’s largest social protection program, allotting 70 percent of public capital to pro-poor sectors, and doubling the size of the road network to connect farmers to markets.
It is a remarkable turnaround for a country that was for decades ruled by a military junta. It’s a remarkable turnaround that you never hear about. That may be because there's no more famine in Ethiopia, and hence no more pop songs.
Ethiopians these days are more resilient than ever to the devastations of drought. And that’s good, because Ethiopia is being hit hard right now.
GlobalPost went to North Wollo, the most drought-sensitive area of the country. Farmers there said their crops have failed. The annual rains fell for only three days. Risks of hunger and malnutrition now affect millions.
So while Ethiopia’s food security system is now far more advanced — knitting together agricultural training, emergency relief and early warning systems for crop failure — this drought is severely testing it. If the safety net works, and it can prevent another devastating famine.
Droughts are a global problem. And in the southern Mexican state of Chiapas, a drought is allowing people to glimpse the distant past, and maybe also our collective future.
There is a reservoir fed by the Grijalva River. But the waters are receding. The water level of the Nezahualcoyotl reservoir has now gone down some 80 feet. Where there was once 80 feet of water, there is now three-quarters of a colonial stone church.
The church was apparently built by a group of monks who arrived in the mid-16th century. It’s quite a sight. You can see photos of it here. And as you look, you can imagine one possible future: the glaciers have melted and all our great cities lie crumbling beneath 80 feet of water.

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