Hotspots H2O, January 16: Drought Continues to Hinder Kenya

The Global Rundown

Consecutive years of failed rains continue to plague Kenya. U.S. lawmakers urge President Trump to include climate change in his national security strategy. Street vendors riot in Lusaka, Zambia, as the government shuts down stalls in an effort to contain a cholera outbreak. Ethiopia seeks to ease tensions with Egypt over concerns about the Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam. Thousands in Somalia are homeless after security forces destroy aid camps.

“I was a farmer but I lost everything to the drought and I cannot go back now because the security situation is terrible there. I never thought my own people would treat me this way in Mogadishu, I felt like a foreigner in my own country.” —Farhia Hussein, who was living in one of Somalia’s aid camps before Somali security forces destroyed it. The United Nations states that water points, sanitary facilities, and latrines were destroyed along with shelters. The Guardian

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By The Numbers

106 Number of U.S. representatives, representing nearly a quarter of the House, who urged President Trump to reconsider the exclusion of climate change in his national security strategy. A number of former national security advisers and U.S. military officers believe that droughts, storms, and floods, intensified by climate change, could increase the demand for humanitarian missions and fuel unrest in unstable countries. Reuters

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70 Number of people who have died in Zambia following a three month outbreak of cholera. In Lusaka, the country’s capital, street vendors rioted after the government shut down their food stalls in an effort to curb the cholera outbreak. Police stated that the riots have been contained. Al Jazeera

Science, Studies, And Reports

A report by the Integrated Regional Information Networks (IRIN) states that consecutive years of failed rains have left millions in Kenya in need of food, and the situation is unlikely to change in 2018. Pasture and water availability are expected to be below average through the dry season, and long rains are expected to be below average in Kenya’s Arid and Semi-Arid Lands. However, long rains are expected to be at least average in the western and central areas of Kenya. IRIN

On The Radar

Ethiopia’s Prime Minister Hailemariam Desalegn will have a four-day state visit to Egypt. Prime Minister Desalegn aims to ease tensions between the two countries over the massive hydroelectric dam Ethiopia is constructing on the Blue Nile, which Egypt contends is a project that could threaten its water security. Al Jazeera

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