IGAD Comes Together to Counter East African Drought
The East Africa bloc kicked off a two-day meeting in Nairobi on Wednesday to devise strategies on improvement of drought management in the region.
Experts from the seven-member Inter-Governmental Authority on Development (IGAD) said the implementation of the regional drought resilient projects have proved successful after a three year period.
IGAD Executive Secretary Ambassador Mahboub Maalim who officially opened the meeting said the drought management approach is contributing to self reliance by the regional governments and has immensely contributed to diversification of sources of livelihoods alongside pastoralism, fishing and farming systems that still dominate the dry land economies.
“Governments in the region have not asked for food aid since the approach came to force,” Maalim said.
Maalim called for the strengthening of existing frameworks for resilience programs and the harmonization of informal and cross-border trade, security and cooperation between the member states for economic development and improved peace and security in the region.
IGAD region that comprises of Kenya, Ethiopia, Eritrea, Uganda, South Sudan, Djibouti and Somalia is characterized by recurrent droughts and unpredictable rainfall patterns.
According to IGAD, more than 13 million people were affected by a combination of drought, conflict and economic crisis in 2011.
The droughts have been increasing in severity and frequency over the years and their impacts are exacerbated by advancing desertification, land degradation, global warming and climate change phenomenon.