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Drought threatens livelihoods in southern Africa

Wednesday, November 11, 2015 - 01:42

Rising temperatures and drought conditions could leave millions without food or livelihoods in parts of southern Africa. Julie Noce reports.

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Farmland in South Africa - cracked and barren- shows just part of the extent of the recent drought that is crippling southern regions of the African continent this year. The intense El Nino coupled with rising climate change are putting farmers like Talent Cele at risk. He's been forced to sell off some of his cattle to ensure the survival of the remaining herd. (SOUNDBITE) (English) SOUTH AFRICAN FARMER, TALENT CELE, SAYING: "We have no choice, it's just to limit the number of cattle we have on the farm, so by doing that we have to what? Sell and maintain a certain number that we can handle. Other than that cattle are just going to be dying all over the place Crop farmers are also at risk. Land is usually tilled during the region's rainy season from October to December. So far there's been no rain in the forecast so the window for planting crops is closing fast. Francois Engelbrecht is with the Council for Science and Industrial Research in South Africa and says 2015 is the warmest year ever recorded by humans in about 150 years of taking measurements. (SOUNDBITE) (English) CLIMATE MODELLER AND RESEARCHER, FRANCOIS ENGELBRECHT, SAYING: "Nine of the 10 warmest years ever recorded have been recorded over the last 10 years and this is part of global warming and the systematic warming of the planet as the result of enhanced greenhouse gases." The United Nations World Food Programme estimates close to 27 million people in the region could go hungry if the drought persists. The World Bank has said some 100 million people world wide could be poverty stricken if climate change continues to affect weather patterns.

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Drought threatens livelihoods in southern Africa

Wednesday, November 11, 2015 - 01:42