As the climate continues to change, different places are impacted in different ways. Africa, and East Africa in particular, has seen less precipitation in recent years. A July 2022 report estimates that a historic series of dry seasons has caused an acute level of food insecurity for millions of people.
Maps and data from satellites can help us quantify and understand these changes. With these insights, organizations can focus food programs and aid to places where they’re needed most.
Drier Seasons Decimate Soil Moisture in East Africa
Monthly Surface Soil Moisture in Horn of Africa, August 2020–December 2022
NASA Earth Observatory made this map of food insecurity across East Africa. Like the previous map, large areas of East Africa are affected. In Somalia, the entire country ranges from stressed to famine. While famine isn’t shown, the effects are still extreme, imperiling more than 500,000 children.
Drought Conditions in Madagascar
Another map from NASA Earth Observatory focuses on drought in Madagascar. In the southern half of the country, much of the vegetation is stressed by a lack of rain. Farmers already faced reduced maize yields, and these conditions put even more pressure on them.