The Drought Emergency Fund in Africa was the main topic discussed during a two-day meeting of an Organisation of African Unity committee in Ethiopia.
The Drought Emergency Fund in Africa was the main topic discussed during a two-day meeting of an Organisation of African Unity committee in Ethiopia. The meeting of the Drought and Other Natural Disasters Committee opened its fourth session on Monday (29 November).
SYNOPSIS: It met in the OAU headquarters in Addis Ababa.
The meeting was opened by the OAU assistant secretary, Ato Chaneyalwe Alemayu. He's one of the top officials in the Relief and Rehabilitation Commission of Ethiopia. The better use of water, which is one of Africa's most precious natural resources, was of prime importance at the conference. The continent currently uses less than five per cent of its available water resources, and they have yet to be used on a significant scale for irrigation, hydro-electric power and transport. The United Nations has urged African countries to co-operate with their massive water resources to ensure the best use is made of them.
Irrigation is the problem most concerning the OAU committee. But to try and provide temporary relief from the massive droughts which strike countries at times, it has established a Drought Emergency Relief Fund. This is raised by obligatory contributions from OAU member states and voluntary contributions from several other countries.
The committee also reviewed the current natural disasters which are affecting the continent at present. These include the flooding in Kenya which caused a rail accident and killed 12 people earlier this week.