This East African nation is known for stability. But drought and rising prices are fueling insecurity.
It was the day of the week when things start to go wrong in Africa. It is Friday, the day after the weekend. It is the day when the rains stop and everyone goes back to work. The rains bring a steady stream of water to a country that sits on the banks of the Congo River and has been without it for 18 years.
But it will remain dry for another 13 months. Until January.
The water problem is threatening to drive the Horn of Africa, or Djibouti, into a water crisis that, once again, could see as many as 200,000 people displaced from their homes.
The effects of the prolonged drought in Djibouti have been dramatic.
Rising food prices have sent food shortages around the Horn of Africa to historic highs. The price of corn stood at over $2.50 a bushel in March, the highest in more than a half-century, according to the United Nations World Food Programme.
The drought has even put an end to many of the country’s tourist opportunities.
Last May, officials were optimistic about the country’s future. They estimated Djibouti as a viable tourist destination in the second half of 2015. The government had plans to increase the number of tourists visiting the nation to 1 million from 800,000.
The nation is now in its deepest crisis in almost 30 years. The drought has forced almost 30,000 people to flee their homes in Djibouti, according to the World Food Programme. And many more displaced people live in camps.
“Djibouti is definitely at a crossroads now,” said Peter O’Brien, head of the U.N. Food and Agriculture Organization in the Horn of Africa. “What happens next can determine whether it can actually be a tourist destination.”
Miles away in the Kenyan