Source / Credit: CNN
I recently visited Garissa, Kenya — a city of at least 180,000 people not far from the border with Somalia — and areas to the north to see how this year’s drought has impacted families in the area. From an outside perspective, it’s easy to hear about drought in the Horn of Africa and glaze over. It’s one of those creeping natural disasters that people in the West hear about almost every year. But this isn’t just another annual drought — this is the worst crisis the region has seen in 60 years. (The United Nations officially declared a famine in Somalia on Wednesday.) To put that in historical perspective, the situation is looking more grim than the massive drought in Ethiopia in the mid-1980s that prompted the Live Aid concert, and the drought in Somalia in early 1990s that led to the well-known United Nations peacekeeping mission. Garissa and the rest of the region — including parts of Kenya, Somalia and Ethiopia — usually have two rainy seasons, one in the fall and one in the spring. This year, neither rainy season happened and the earth is bone dry.