Floods arising out of El Nino. Photo Credit/ scidev.net

The East Africa and Horn region is experiencing a high risk of communicable diseases, with 47.000 people reportedly faced with the threat of cholera outbreak.

According to a release by the United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (UNOCHA), 970 people had died of cholera-related complications by May 25.

The report covering January to May 2016 signed by Pete Manfield, the UNOCHA Head of the Southern and Eastern Africa region, also states that there are 1,935 confirmed and 1,400 suspected cases of measles; and 2,480 cases of yellow fever and over 300 yellow-fever related deaths.

Meanwhile, throughout the region, heavy rains that intensified in late April have resulted in excessive flooding, affecting more than half a million people; damaging infrastructure and livelihoods and caused over 370 deaths.

‘Although the rains have also brought relief to some areas that have been affected by the worst drought in decades, namely; parts of Ethiopia, Puntland, Somaliland and a number of countries in southern Africa, the food security situation in these areas is not expected to significantly improve, due to the scale and intensity of the El Nino-induced drought that has already depleted coping mechanisms,’ the OCHA report states in part.

The report further states that an estimated 19.9 million people in the Horn of Africa (HOA) region are facing crisis and emergency food insecurity levels; while across southern Africa, an estimated 31.6 million people are already food insecure and while the meagre April/May 2016 harvest will temporarily improve food access in parts of the region over the short term, but food security is likely to begin deteriorating by July, reaching its peak between December 2016 and April 2017.