Feb 15, 2016

Drought may affect 49 million in southern Africa: WFP

South Africa
by
MacDonald Dzirutwe
,
Reuters
Zimbabwean children watch as their mother collects water from a communal tap in Harare, February 5, 2016. Photo: Reuters, Philimon Bulawayo
Zimbabwean children watch as their mother collects water from a communal tap in Harare, February 5, 2016. Photo: Reuters, Philimon Bulawayo

As many as 49 million people in southern Africa could be affected by a drought that has been worsened by the most severe and longest El Nino weather pattern in 35 years, the United Nations World Food Programme (WFP) said on Monday.

The WFP, which has already said 14 million people face hunger in the region, said the El Nino conditions had caused the lowest recorded rainfall between October and December since 1981.

The forecast for January to March indicated a high probability of below-normal rainfall in southern Africa, which would result in one of the worst droughts on record, it added.