Extreme drought across southern Africa is pushing hunger upon millions of people just over a year after multiple cyclones battered the region, the AP reports. The whiplash of extreme weather from extreme rain to drought is a hallmark of a climate destabilized by global warming, mainly caused by the extraction and combustion of fossil fuels.

In Malawi, a country of 20 million, UNICEF estimates 9 million people, half of them children, need help as a result of the drought. At least 2.7 million across Zimbabwe are officially threatened with hunger — a number expected to increase after the completion of nationwide crop assessment. In Mangwe, 39 year-old Zanyiwe Ncube, told the AP she would usually be harvesting crops for her two children and niece, but this year

“We have nothing in the fields, not a single grain…” Because of the drought, “Everything has been burnt.”  Traditional leader Joseph Nleya, 77, told the AP these are the hottest, driest, and most desperate conditions he can remember. “Dams have no water, riverbeds are dry and boreholes are few. We were relying on wild fruits, but they have also dried up …Hunger is turning otherwise hard-working people into criminals.” (AP; Climate Signals background: Drought)