Traditional sources of water are disappearing in the Horn of Africa due to climate change, and people trying to flee face death on the trail by thirst, illness or violence from insurgents roaming the area.
The initial cause of the famine was climate change-altered weather – the centuries old pastoral way of life is rapidly dying without water and vegetation to support livestock. While in the past a serious drought might be expected once every ten years or so, allowing for preparation in between, they have come more and more frequently of late. (Al Jazeera - http://english.aljazeera.net/indepth/features/2011/06/2011620123049438790.html) However, the deadly “natural” conditions are only multiplied by the political chaos on the region. There has been no true central government in Somalia since 1991, when the government was overthrown by militias who then went to war with one another. (New York Times - http://topics.nytimes.com/top/news/international/countriesandterritories/somalia/index.html)
Since 2006, the insurgent group Al Shabab – fundamentalist Islamists affiliated with Al Queda -- has terrorized the region, and