African children to suffer as El Nino winds down: NGO

July 26, 2016
The 2015-2016 El Nino, one of the most powerful on record, has caused significant damage across several east and southern African countries, sending hunger levels spiralling

Millions of children will suffer disproportionately from the failed harvests and devastated livelihoods left behind by the El Nino weather phenomenon, Save the Children warned Tuesday.

El Nino affects and causes both drought and flooding. As it recedes the Pacific cooling trend known as La Nina is set to begin.

"Children face protection risks as families and communities move in search of work, food, water and grazing land for animals," said David Wright, the charity's East and Southern Africa Regional Director.

The charity estimated that 26.5 million could face malnutrition, and disease in affected African regions.

"Children are also finding it difficult to stay in school, due to hunger or lack of water," Wright added in a statement.

The 2015-2016 El Nino, one of the most powerful on record, has caused significant damage across several east and southern African countries, sending hunger levels spiralling and leading to greater spread of diseases.

Ethiopia has been experiencing its worst drought in 50 years, while Zimbabwe, Malawi and Mozambique all issued drought alerts earlier in 2016.

Despite African governments' best efforts the "sheer scale" of El Nino this time had outdone the states' capacity to deal with the crisis, according to Save the Children.

But the worst could be yet to come, Wright said, with the threat of La Nina further destabilising affected communities.

"The full force will be felt over the coming months," he said, announcing a humanitarian appeal launched by The South African Development Community (SADC).

Three UN bodies estimated in early July that about 40 million people in east and southern Africa would not have enough food in the aftermath of El Nino.

Related Stories

Recommended for you

Male contraceptive compound stops sperm without affecting hormones

April 20, 2018
A new study published today in the journal PLOS ONE details how a compound called EP055 binds to sperm proteins to significantly slow the overall mobility of the sperm without affecting hormones, making EP055 a potential ...

New research suggests possible link between sudden infant death syndrome and air pollution

April 20, 2018
A study led by the University of Birmingham suggests a possible association between exposure to certain pollutants and an increased risk of so-called 'cot death'.

A dose of empathy may support patients in pain

April 20, 2018
Research published in the Journal of the Royal Society of Medicine suggests that empathic, positive messages from doctors may be of small benefit to patients suffering from pain, and improve their satisfaction about the care ...

For heavy lifting, use exoskeletons with caution

April 20, 2018
You can wear an exoskeleton, but it won't turn you into a superhero.

New device to help patients with rare disease access life-saving treatment

April 19, 2018
Patients with a rare medical condition can receive life-saving treatment at the touch of a button thanks to a new device developed by scientists.

Low total testosterone in men widespread, linked to chronic disease

April 19, 2018
A male's total testosterone level may be linked to more than just sexual health and muscle mass preservation, a new study finds. Low amounts of the hormone could also be associated with chronic disease, even among men 40 ...

0 comments

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.