Rob Marchant is a Reader in Tropical Ecosystems at the University of York. The views expressed in this commentary are solely those of the writer. CNN is showcasing the work of The Conversation, a collaboration between journalists and academics to provide news analysis and commentary. The content is produced solely by The Conversation.
A severe drought threatens millions of people in East Africa. Crop harvests are well below normal and the price of food has doubled across much of Ethiopia, Kenya, Somalia and nearby countries.