As many as a billion animals may have been killed in Australia’s wildfires since September, a scientist said, doubling his earlier estimate as the unprecedented scale of the crisis in the world’s driest inhabited continent continued to emerge.
New figures released on Wednesday by the University of Sydney’s Chris Dickman indicate more than 800 million animals have been killed in the state of New South Wales alone, while one billion had died nationally. That includes mammals, birds and reptiles directly killed by the fires or indirectly through loss of habitat.
Courtesy of bloomberg.com
According to the report that the cattle unions have, both from the north and from the center-south of the state, the number of heads of cattle killed by the drought amounts to 96 thousand, which is equivalent to eight percent of the cattle herd.
Arnoldo Amaya, president of the Regional Livestock Union of the North, said that according to the numbers that were taking a few days ago among all livestock groups, we can talk about eight percent of the cattle herd lost due to drought.
Most of the dead cattle are found in the northern part of the state where the rains were minimal.
He clarified that they do not want to talk about numbers of dead animals, they are only based on percentages, eight out of every 100 animals have died from drought.
In Durango the cattle herd, recognized by the state, federal authorities and the livestock associations themselves, is one million 200 thousand heads. This means that eight percent represent 96 thousand cattle.
Although the problem of livestock mortality has stopped due to the little rain that has fallen, in the north of the state there are still municipalities with little water.
“Unfortunately, due to the low humidity, the grass that has already left will end before the end of the year, so the dry season is going to be practically since January,” said Arnoldo Amaya.
And that is where the producers of both the social sector and large farmers will begin to present problems of mortality, especially the first ones that have the least resources.
He explained that the major crisis in the livestock sector is going to be felt since January, especially because there will be no grass, and the little that remains, because of its size, is going to dry or burn with frost.
In addition, the low temperatures that are recorded will hit strongly in the cattle that when presenting feeding problems, they will get sick faster.
Courtesy of elsiglodedurango.com.mx
According to a latest announcement by the minister of agriculture, water and forestry, Alpheus Naruseb, a total of 60 000+ cattle have died right across Namibia as the drought continues to ravage the regions.
The figure has been sourced from the ministry’s veterinary service functionaries
Government has been forced to increase its drought relief aid budget, overstretching the contingency fund but having to cover the gap with donations from private, public sector and the international community.
Prime Minister Saara Kuugongelwa Amadhila met with ministers and regional governors yesterday at her offices where she told the media that the budget allocation for drought has now increased to N$595.2 million.
Government had initially budgeted N$300 million.
But thatis now more than N$572.5 million of the initially approved budget while the actual funding of the budget has now overshot the initially agreed budget that was not fully funded.
So dire has the drought situation becomes that this week, the Namibia Agricultural Union announced that the Hardap Dam had been severely impacted with water levels at a critical 14.7%.
If the rains do not come, farmers in the vicinity of the dam could cease to have access to purified water by 2021.
Government has thus gone on the over-drive and is considering investing in desalination plants to syphon water from the sea.
The Patriot wanted to understand whether the OPM had received news of any deaths in the regions yet as well as how many households were in need of drought relief aid.
“When the programme started the estimated number of household beneficiaries was 42 000 according to the vulnerability assessment.
This process was later followed by the identification and the registration of beneficiaries based on the criteria as established and approved by cabinet.
But this verification produced higher number of qualifying households which is now 172 938 households,” said Kuugongelwa-Amadhila.
One of the big questions is how is government best transporting the food aid across the regions and how secure are the storage spaces so that they ultimately reach the affected.
“We are being assisted by the Namibian Defence Force who have availed transportation in the form of truck and human resources to distribute food,” said the PM.
Courtesy of thepatriot.com.na
Petorca More than one hundred thousand dead animals, family crops on the verge of extinction and about 600,000 people who need to be supplied with water. The megasequía hits with force the center of Chile after a decade of deficit of rains.
The end of the driest southern winter in six decades left a complex balance: six of the 16 regions of Chile suffer the effects of the rainfall deficit, which in the case of Valparaíso and Santiago reached 77%.
Between the regions of Atacama (north) and Maule (south) there are about 106,000 animals killed due to lack of water and food, according to the Ministry of Agriculture.
Chile meets most of the nine vulnerability criteria set forth by the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC), including areas prone to drought and desertification.
Courtesy of radioondaazul.com
Floods have blocked roads in floods Tana River County, Kenya, October 2019. Photo: Kenya Red Cross Society (KRCS)
Flooding across Kenya in the month of October has left at least 29 people dead and affected more than 101,000, according to the UN.
In a report of 30 October, 2019, the UN Office for Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) said heavy rain since the start of the short rains season in early October has led to riverine and flash floods, rock falls, mudslides and landslides.
More than 101,000 people have been affected, mainly in the north-eastern, central, and coastal regions, according to the Kenya Red Cross Society (KRCS). Wajir County has been particularly hard-hit, with at least 43,000 people affected. Other affected counties include Marsabit, Mandera, Turkana, Elgeyo Marakwet, Kitui, Meru, Kajiado, Kwale, Nandi, Mombasa, Murang’a and Busia.
The KRCS has confirmed that at least 14,000 people have been displaced from their homes in low-lying areas where rivers have burst their banks.
At least 29 flood-related deaths have been reported and the death toll and number of people displaced is expected to rise in the days ahead as further information is received and verified from affected areas.
Nearly 400 hectares of farmland has been damaged and 21,710 livestock washed away, according to the KRCS, severely impacting livelihoods, including in areas already facing challenges due to drought.
Furthermore flooding has damaged or destroyed key infrastructure, including roads, bridges, schools and health facilities.
The UN report said: “At least 52 schools are inaccessible in Mandera and Wajir counties and some 14 health facilities cannot be reached in Mandera, Wajir and Marsabit. Many parts of Mombasa County have reported power outages caused by fallen electricity pylons or water-soaked transformers. Two bridges, including one linking Diani and Lungalunga at Kinondoni and the main bridge linking Tanzania and Kenya at Mihogoni trading centre, have been badly damaged. In Lodwar town and surrounding areas in Turkana County, nine out of 12 water boreholes were destroyed, impacting about 70,000 people.”
The rains -driven by the strong positive Indian Ocean Dipole (IOD)- are expected to continue in the days and weeks ahead, with most parts of the country likely to experience above average rainfall until early December 2019, according to the Kenyan Meteorological Department.
Courtesy of floodlist.com/
Featured image: File photo for illustration. Floods in Ethiopia, 2006. Photo:
Bob McCaffrey / Flickr under CC BY-SA 2.0
The UN reports that over 120,000 people have been displaced by flooding in Ethiopia this month.
In a report of 20 October, the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (UN-OCHA) said that during the month of October, “several flood incidences were reported in Afar, Oromia, SNNP and Somali regions displacing thousands and causing loss of property and livelihoods. Reportedly, some 202,202 people have been displaced across the country, the majority (127,524 people) in Somali region. ”
Heavy rainfall from early October caused rives to overflow in Somali region, including the Genale and Wabi Shabelle rivers and related tributaries.
Over 17,000 households were displaced in Shabelle zone of the Somali region. Latrines, schools buildings and health facilities have been damaged or destroyed. Meanwhile in Dollo Ado woreda (district), over 3,500 families have been displaced. Roads have been blocked and livestock and crops have been damaged or destroyed.
In Southern Nations, Nationalities, and People’s Region (SNNP) Region over 5,600 people were displaced by flooding in the woreda of Shashogo in Hadya zone from late September.
A landslide killed 22 people in Konta special woreda (Amaya town) on 13 October, as reported here. UN-OCHA said that floods and landslides were also reported in Melokoza woreda of Gofa zone and Zabageze woreda of Dawuro zone.
In Afar Region the Awash river broke its banks earlier this month, damaging or destroying 4,250 homes and affecting over 7,000 families. According to the UN, urgent shelter is reuired for thousands displaced.
Wide areas of crops , along with livestock and about 190 houses were damaged after floods in Bale zone, Oromia region, leaving 33,000 families in need of humanitarian assistance.
Schools, health facilities, farmland and cattle were all damaged after flooding in areas of Gambella region. UN-OCHA said that a total of 14,452 people were affected of which 11,128 individuals displaced.”
The added that “Access is becoming a challenge that will hinder the response. On 18 Oct ober 2019, the Shaygosh bridge between Gode and Jijiga collapsed. U nti l the area gets dry it will be very difficult to pass that section of the road. Hence, Gode and Kabridahar have been disconnected from Jijiga. Communit ies are also stranded by flood in Mustahil town, Mirdh is, Sedehbar, Fufug and Kobane in Mustahil and Afdub, Niiri , Kabhanle, Washaqo, and Shuubo in Kelafo woreda . Boat or helicopter are currently the only options to access those areas.”
Courtesy of floodlist.com
#Drought and commercial #cattle #farming exposes tens of thousands to devastating #hunger in #Angola
The end of cattle’s paradise: How diversion of land for ranches eroded food security in the Gambos calls on the Angolan government to immediately provide emergency food assistance to the communities facing hunger, declare a moratorium on land grants, and appoint a commission of inquiry to investigate how 46 commercial farms ended up with two-thirds of the best grazing land in Tunda dos Gambos and Vale de Chimbolela since the end of civil war in 2002.
“The current drought in Angola has exposed the devastating impact of commercial cattle farming on communities in Gambos. Traditional cattle farmers have lost their best grazing land and now watch helplessly as their children and families go to bed on empty stomachs,” said Deprose Muchena, Amnesty International’s Regional Director for Southern Africa.
“The government has failed to protect the rights of these communities – in particular, their right to food. They have been left to scratch a living from infertile, unproductive land – and now as the drought tightens its grip – they have simply been left with nothing to eat.”
The report shows that hunger and starvation are rife among the Vanyaneke and Ovaherero people living in the Gambos. Colloquially this region is known as Angola’s “milk region” because cattle rearing and milk production have been central to the economy and way of life of people here.
While the semi-arid Gambos region is prone to cyclical droughts, Amnesty International found that traditional cattle breeders and their families are struggling to produce food for themselves after communal grazing land, which once mitigated against the impact of drought, was allocated by the government to commercial cattle farmers.
As a result, pastoralists are left with insufficient and unproductive land for growing food and grazing their cattle. Milk, cheese, yoghurt and meat production is the main source of their livelihoods.
Families told Amnesty International researchers that the situation is now so dire that they had resorted to eating wild leaves. Many said they suffer with sickness and diarrhea and have also developed skin conditions such as scabies due to water scarcity and poor hygienic conditions.
One pastoralist told Amnesty International that: “There is not enough milk anymore. So, we the grown-ups have given up drinking milk so that the children can still have some. As you can see, we do not look healthy and strong as we used to be. We are skinny and weak.”
Another pastoralist said that: “These days many people are becoming very sick because of hunger. Sometimes we go to Chiange to sell firewood so that we can buy some food. There is someone who died here because of hunger.”
According to the government, there are now 46 commercial livestock farms occupying 2,629km2 of the most fertile land, leaving only 1,299km2 of grazing land for the traditional cattle breeders. This translates to 67% of the land occupied by commercial farmers, leaving pastoralists with only 33% of the land.
Amnesty International found that the land, used for centuries as communal grazing land by pastoralists from southern Angola’s Cunene, Huila, and Namibe provinces, was taken away from communities without due process.
Despite this, the government has allowed commercial livestock farmers to occupy the Tunda dos Gambos and Vale de Chimbolela without giving local communities any form of compensation, clearly violating the country’s law.
Courtesy of amnesty.org
The sub-delegate of the Government in Almeria, Manuel de la Fuente , has toured on Tuesday the municipalities of the Almanzora region most affected by the floods and has seen ‘in situ’, accompanied by the mayors, the “huge damage caused by torrential rains “.
As the agency has indicated in a note, it is the third visit made by De la Fuente to the areas most affected by the passage of DANA, after those already made on Friday, first to Níjar and then to Huércal-Overa and Pulpí.
The damage check has started early in the morning in Cantoria, where about 110 liters per square meter of water fell in just two hours. In the La Hojilla ravine, which joins Cantoria with the district of La Hoya, the water reached about two meters high and caused the breakage of the road and the concrete chains of the bridge.
Likewise, the passage to the hamlet of El Faz , where some 200 neighbors live , remains cut . The water pipe has also damaged the crossing bridge over the Almanzora River, between the towns of Cantoria and Almanzora. In this place, the water exceeded four meters high in the riverbed and rose above two meters on the road. The City Council, chaired by Purificación Sánchez, is still estimating the damages suffered.
In Arboleas , the most important destruction caused by the flood was the rupture of the potable water supply pipes to the neighborhoods of El Rincón, La Cinta and Tahullas, where around 600 neighbors reside, a problem that, today, It has already been resolved, as highlighted by the mayor, Cristóbal García. The rain has also caused numerous landslides on municipal roads to access slums.
The next municipality has been Armuña del Almanzora . There, the sub-delegate has traveled with his mayor, José Berruezo, part of the rural roads flooded by the rain, which has also caused serious damage to different ramblas and in the water supply network of the municipality. This noon, city hall machinery worked piece by piece to repair the supply as soon as possible.
Courtesy of canalsur.es
THE Khomas region is experiencing its worst drought in 90 years, according to official rainfall figures released by the Namibia Meteorological Service this week.
The region received less than a third of its normal quantity of rainfall over the past rainy season from October last year to the end of April this year. The bulk of the north-central regions of the country received about a third of their normal seasonal rainfall, and most of the Erongo, Otjozondjupa and Omaheke regions recorded less than 40% of their normal rainfall totals, figures released by the weather service show.
The Meteorological Service also reported that while the eastern parts of the Zambezi region received between 60% and 80% of their normal seasonal rainfall totals during the 2018/19 rainy season, the situation was worse in the western parts of the region, which has ended up experiencing its worst drought in the last 59 years.
At the weather service’s head office in Windhoek, 106,7 millimetres of rain was measured during the past rainy season – the lowest annual figure since 1929/30, when a seasonal total of 97 mm was recorded at the same spot.
The past rainy season has also been drier in Windhoek than during the 1981/82 season, when a total of 126,2 mm of rain was recorded at the Windhoek Met Office during a severe drought that had Namibia in its grips.
Windhoek’s total rainfall during a normal rainy season is around 355 mm.
The end-of-season rainfall bulletin also shows that the situation is even more serious at Witvlei in the Omaheke region, where only 67 mm of rain was recorded from October to April. This is 79% below the normal seasonal total of 317,7 mm.
At Steinhausen, north-west of Gobabis, a near-normal rainfall total of 317,5 mm was recorded from October to April, though – only 8% below the normal seasonal total of 343,7 mm.
At Rundu, 334 mm of rain was recorded from October 2018 to the end of April 2019 – 41% below the town’s normal seasonal rainfall total of 568,6 mm.
The rainfall total of 168,7 mm recorded at Ondangwa during the past rainy season is 63% below the town’s normal seasonal total of 450,8 mm. At Grootfontein, the seasonal total came to 230,2 mm at the end of April, which is 57% below the town’s normal figure of 540,3 mm.
In the southern part of the Kunene region, 105,6 mm of rain was recorded at Khorixas during the past rainy season. That is 52% below its normal seasonal total of 220,4 mm.
The seasonal total of 31 mm measured at Gochas is 82% lower than the normal total rainfall of 176,4 mm in that part of in the Hardap region during an average rainy season.
At Keetmanshoop, 36,2 mm of rain was measured during the past rainy season – 76% below the //Kharas town’s normal seasonal total of 151 mm.
The failed rainy season is also reflected in the levels of the main dams supplying water to Windhoek. On Monday, the Von Bach and Swakoppoort dams were storing a combined 29 million cubic metres of water – compared to about 55 million cubic metres a year ago, and more than 62 million cubic metres at the same stage in 2017.
According to the City of Windhoek, city residents again failed to meet water saving targets over the past week. While the city has set a weekly water consumption target of no more than 465 000 cubic metres, actual consumption recorded over the past week was 497 332 cubic metres of water.
Water restrictions in the city are set to be tightened from the start of July.
Courtesy of namibian.com.na