Kenya: Over 600,000 displaced by floods in Greater Horn of Africa in 2016 - Report

Nairobi, Kenya (PANA) - Sudden onset natural hazards, primarily floods, caused more than 600,000 new displacements in 2016 in the Greater Horn of Africa, according a report launched on Wednesday.

The report launched by the Internal Displacement Monitoring Centre (IDMC) in Geneva, Switzerland, and Mombasa, Kenya, says conflict and violence triggered at least 800,000 new displacements in the region in 2016.

The report titled “Reducing Displacement Risk in the Greater Horn of Africa,” focuses on disasters and displacements in Djibouti, Eritrea, Ethiopia, Kenya, Somalia, South Sudan, Sudan and Uganda, plus Burundi, Rwanda and Tanzania.

It presents the first baseline for displacement risk associated with sudden onset disasters in the countries of the Greater Horn of Africa with the ultimate aim of reducing future displacement risk.

“The need to address the risk and impacts of disaster displacement, which will be made worse by climate change, is a global and regional policy priority,'' said Justin Ginneti, head of Data and Analysis at IDMC.

"To do so, however, such risk must be measured, and governments and other agencies need a baseline against which to measure their progress,“  he added.

To address the need, the centre says it has developed a methodology to estimate displacement risk associated with sudden-onset natural hazards, and the result is the first fully probabilistic assessment of the phenomenon for the Greater Horn of Africa”.

Displacement in the Greater Horn of Africa is highly complex because a range of interlinked triggers and drivers are at play.

Disasters increase competition for land and resources, which can lead to violence and conflict. In turn, this can also increase communities’ vulnerability to the impacts of natural hazards.

Furthermore, the region is among those worst affected by the multiple effects of climate change including above average temperature, excessive or insufficient rainfall, desertification and environmental degradation, the report says.

At present, only three countries in the region - Ethiopia, Kenya and Uganda - systematically collect data on disasters and maintain a national loss inventory.

Such information is needed to ensure that those in greatest need of assistance are prioritised, self-reliance is encouraged and obstacles to solutions are addressed.

Settlement options should be risk-informed and sustainable, leaving people less vulnerable to future hazards rather than putting them back in harm’s way.

Significantly, the report highlights the need for more investment to track how many people are displaced over time after the event in order to strengthen the resilience of displaced communities and their hosts.

The report’s findings also suggest low levels of preparedness to cope with hazards in the region.
-0- PANA DJ/MA 27Sept2017

27 september 2017 09:37:22

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