epidemic in drought-hit southern Somalia has killed hundreds
of people, including at least 80 in just the past three days,
health officials said on Monday.
said 50 people had died in and around the towns of Dinsor
and Qansahdhere in the Bay region of Somalia in the last three
days. They had recorded nearly 400 deaths in the last two
. In the
nearby town of Bardera in the Gedo region, another 30 people
have died in quarantine facilities in the last three days,
district commissioner Mohamud Abdi Takuul said.
said they believed casualties could be much higher as many
more people may have died in remote villages.
has been badly hit by a drought afflicting much of eastern
African this year.
say five people are dying every day of drought and hunger-related
causes in the Gedo region alone.
Nations World Food Programme (WFP) has appealed for aid to
feed 600,000 Somalis affected by drought, although it says
the number needing aid could double if rains fail again this
descended into anarchy after the ouster of military leader
Mohamed Siad Barre from Mogadishu in 1991.
a convoy of around 50 trucks carrying food aid donated by
WFP and Care International, became the first to negotiate
the road between the capital Mogadishu and the inland town
of Baidoa in around nine months.
escorted by heavily-armed militiamen and given safe passage
by local warlords, was bringing 580 tonnes of maize, sorghum,
beans and porridge for the Bay and Bakol regions.