By Mohammed Dhaysane
The death toll from a cholera outbreak in Somalia has risen to 618 people since January, with nearly 32,000 cases reported, according to the local United Nations humanitarian office.
Thirteen of 18 Somalia regions were hit by the outbreak, including Bay and Bakol, where over 100 people died from hunger and cholera in March.
“The AWD [acute watery diarrhea]/cholera outbreak killed 618 people, with 31,764 cases reported since the start of 2017,” said a statement by the United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs or OCHA.
The humanitarian situation continues to worsen and the projected number of people who are or will be acutely malnourished is estimated to be 1.4 million, including over 255,000 children, OCHA added.
The drought has forced some 40,000 children to stop attending school while 615,000 people have become internally displaced due to drought since last November.
“620,000 people have left their homes due to drought since November 2016. Nearly 7,000 people have crossed into neighboring Ethiopia and Kenya,” the UN said.
The Somali government has already declared the drought a national disaster.