A view of Horn of Africa's drought from space
Animation from satellite images shows the increasing drought. (Courtesy CESBIO/ESA)
July 26th, 2011
12:19 PM ET

A view of Horn of Africa's drought from space

The worst drought in 60 years has hit the Horn of Africa region, an area in east Africa that includes Somalia, Ethiopia and Kenya.

A recent satellite-derived animation from the European Space Agency illustrates the crisis as it worsened over the summer. The images above show soil moisture in the region from April to mid-July of this year. Green and blue depict higher levels of soil moisture while the increasing spread of orange and yellow illustrates areas with little to no moisture.

The drought has led to starvation and the loss of crops and livestock. Food prices have nearly tripled in some areas since last year, worsening the crisis.

The United Nations officially declared famine in parts of Somalia last week, and thousands of people have fled their homes and crossed borders in search of water, food or aid.

More on the crisis:

What caused the crisis?

U.N., donors meet on Somalia famine as aid groups seek more help

Amid famine, Somalis flock back to the war-torn city they fled

Walking 17 days for water and other personal stories from the drought

How to help:

Impact Your World

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Filed under: Africa • Famine • Kenya • Somalia • World
soundoff (78 Responses)
  1. steve a, new braunfels, texas

    wow, looks like Texas.

    July 26, 2011 at 5:56 pm | Report abuse |
    • BOB

      I hear ya brother, all the way from Austin.

      July 26, 2011 at 7:19 pm | Report abuse |
  2. FU

    Seriously, these "people" should just order room service...

    July 26, 2011 at 5:57 pm | Report abuse |
  3. Bob

    Dirtyhorse, and we are all thankful.

    July 26, 2011 at 6:00 pm | Report abuse |
  4. Beatrice

    Rich nations waste so much food. It's rich nations' wrong prioroty and unwillingness to help that people are dying from starvation.

    July 26, 2011 at 6:29 pm | Report abuse |
    • leeintulsa

      @beatrice: yeah, living in a desert has nothing to do with it.

      July 26, 2011 at 8:41 pm | Report abuse |
    • theAntiELVIS

      That's right – like all those jerks in Southern California – I'm from Northern California and I say let 'em die of thirst!

      July 26, 2011 at 10:37 pm | Report abuse |
    • Don Dean

      Yeah it has nothing to do with the cultural issue that are plauging this land. I have seen reports on the cbs evening new where the warlords will actively fight the UN people trying to bring food to the starving people their. At least 13 humanitarian aid workers have died while trying to simply deliver food. So it is only wealthy nation not giving enough food, it is the ideological issues that are endemic of this region. Islam vs christian and animist religions.

      July 27, 2011 at 1:22 am | Report abuse |
  5. asa

    11.3 millions are not so true because somalis are 16 million in the whole world. north and central are about 6 to 7 million world. the south are 8 million and the rest in the world are 5 in total. SO 11.3 IN FOOD NEED IS NOT TRUE IT IS ABOUT 5 TO 4 MILLION ETHIOPAN( OROMO, OR OTHERS) ARE IN THAT 11.3.........please EAST AFRICANS STOP USING SOMALI NAME TO GET SOMETHING.

    July 26, 2011 at 6:33 pm | Report abuse |
    • John D

      There's no shortage of people who want to help; the problem is getting aid to the victims.

      Most significantly, there's the problem of the governing regime in Somalia, which refuses to let humanitarian aid groups operate in the country.

      July 26, 2011 at 7:42 pm | Report abuse |
  6. Long term thinking helps

    Bring a more permanent solution to this problem, next year the same situation occurs only that nobody is willing to help!!!! what happens then, do they die (there was a nation where 20 million people died from starvation), are their leaders not vision oriented??

    July 26, 2011 at 7:35 pm | Report abuse |
  7. Suzanne

    To "resident alien"... U say that birth control is too expensive in Africa which is the cause you say for the over population!! Hmmmmm...has anyone heard of the totally FREE birth control called ABSTINENCE??!!

    July 26, 2011 at 8:23 pm | Report abuse |
  8. Lucille

    God has shown Pharaoh what he is about to do.

    July 26, 2011 at 9:15 pm | Report abuse |
  9. Rob

    We need to let them die. YES YES its horrible. But listen, I am almost 34 and my whole life all I have heard about in Africa is famine and starvation. There are more people than that continent can support. What happens when we send some rice or bread or whatever? We allow them to just barely survive and they go on to have yet more kids and suddently we have even MORE people starving. If we have 1.7 billion(just a randon number) in the US we would all be hungry becuase we cant support that population level. African needs to let however many millions die so those left can live fufilling lives.

    July 26, 2011 at 9:43 pm | Report abuse |
    • theAntiELVIS

      Yeah – they breed like rats – just like Catholics – they should die too! Seriously some of you people are hardly worthy of being called "people" – we should let them die? Are you serious? Well, obviously you are. I'm sure you would even like to make the process more efficient, say with camps and gas chambers and maybe some ovens. You Nazi a**wipe.

      July 26, 2011 at 10:41 pm | Report abuse |
    • Jabgar00

      You said the right words! "What you heard" . Neither one of yall have been to Africa but you can tell someone all about it?? If you think all of Africa is villages you can't be too smart.

      July 26, 2011 at 10:49 pm | Report abuse |
    • Shawn

      So your willing to have millions of peoples death on your conscience. Maybe you should go over there volunteer to be the first one?

      July 27, 2011 at 4:02 am | Report abuse |
    • h41l5474n

      I agree with Rob! It's survival of the fittest at this point. Obviously people dumb enough to stay in Africa, in the desert, shouldn't reproduce nor live. And don't try arguing saying that they can't leave Africa because people have been leaving Africa for thousands of years. Save our rice and bread and give it to the poor and hungry in the United States! Suuuuurvival of the fittest!!!!!!

      July 27, 2011 at 7:39 am | Report abuse |
  10. Rob

    sorry about typos in last post

    July 26, 2011 at 9:44 pm | Report abuse |
  11. brad

    I truly hope it rains there now, there's people hungry and it's getting worse every day.

    July 26, 2011 at 11:21 pm | Report abuse |
  12. Rob

    Well AntiELVIS and Jabgar maybe you would like to house 20 or 30, 00 of them in your town. Why not all the millions. Then you can save each and everyone while you probably sob over the ozone layer, the whales, low tax rates on millionaires and the mistreatment of minorities in America

    July 26, 2011 at 11:23 pm | Report abuse |
  13. K Engelhardt

    This is awful. Truly terrible. Unfortunately, the United States is going to be unable to help, because its own people are in dire straits, and due to economic stresses, it can only provide for its own at this time. Please try your call again later. Message number 32-PT.

    July 27, 2011 at 12:28 am | Report abuse |
  14. Jon

    This is Africa. Why is everyone acting like these weather patterns are something *new*? It's technology making it easier to see weather changes around the globe and we act like it's shocking! Get real, Africa has had these weather patterns since probably forever..

    July 27, 2011 at 12:54 am | Report abuse |
    • Shawn

      A good point, however, it doesn't changed the fact that people are dying from this. So while the rest of us lucked out and were born in a part of the world with everything we need. so why don't you try going 5 days without and water and come back here and try again.

      July 27, 2011 at 3:59 am | Report abuse |
  15. John

    How is it that in a world filled with increasing technological marvels that we can't stop long enough to create a solution to a problem like this? We must not be as ingenious as we think . . ...or maybe as compassionate.

    July 27, 2011 at 7:25 am | Report abuse |
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