Oct 11

El Niño could leave 4 million people in Pacific without food or drinking water

Via Ben Doherty at The Guardian

“El Niño has the potential to trigger a regional humanitarian emergency and we estimate as many as 4.1 million people are at risk from water shortages, food insecurity and disease across the Pacific,” Sune Gudnitz, head of the Pacific region office of the United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs said.

“Countries including Papua New Guinea, Fiji, Tonga and the Solomon Islands are already feeling El Niño’s impact with reduced rainfall affecting crops and drinking-water supplies. Drought conditions would further complicate the humanitarian situation in countries that are just emerging from the devastation caused by tropical cyclones Pam, Maysak and Raquel.”

Many countries across the region are entering the El Niño period in a vulnerable state. Drought has been officially declared in 34 provinces in Indonesia, while in Vanuatu – still recovering from the devastation of cyclone Pam, which struck in March – authorities are warning reduced rainfall will damage food security, health and livelihoods.

In some parts of Fiji, water is already being trucked into villages that have run out. And Tonga, which has suffered a drought for nearly a year, has been forced to ship water supplies to the country’s outer islands.

Countries where food insecurity affects large proportions of the population were of special concern, Bradshaw said.

An article showing the need for EcoloBlue atmospheric water generators.