The week was relatively calm compared to previous weeks. However, there was a circulation of false information on social media platforms.

Here are some of the false claims debunked by HaqCheck during the first week of August.

A false image of drought in Oromia

False images were circulating on social media in the week with a claim that many people have died of starvation in Oromia due to an ongoing lockdown by the government.

These three images were also used as a thumbnail of a video on a Youtube channel with more than 900 subscribers with a title that tells aid delivery to Borranna stopped despite an ongoing drought. However, HaqCheck learned that it was taken from  a video shared by EBC (Ethiopian Broadcasting Corporation) on Jul 6, 2022, titled “the drought in Borena zone requires an immediate response by the Gov’t.”

One of the three images was found to be false and taken from an old publication. The first image that shows a dead body of an elderly woman was previously published on a website named The Kampala Report.

The article stated that the image shows people who died of starvation in the Karamoja region of Uganda.

Famine in the Horn of Africa

An article about ongoing extreme food shortages and famine in the Horn of African countries such as  South Sudan, Somalia, and Ethiopia was published on a website. An image that shows famine-stricken infants was published along with the article.

The article on the website indicates that Vicky Ford, Minister for Africa, Latin America, and the Caribbean wrote a letter responding to the correspondence of David Alton, a member of the House of the Lords of the United Kingdom, to the Foreign, Commonwealth, and Development Office highlighting the current food shortages in the Horn of Africa.

The response letter from the State Minister to Lord David Alton was then published on a website that claims to belong to the latter. An image that shows starved infants seemingly stretching their hands for food was attached along with the letter on the website.

In spite of the ongoing drought in the Horn of Africa, the image doesn’t actually show the situation in the region. The image was found published on Flicker, an American image and video sharing online platform, on 3 June 2009.


HaqCheck recommends social media users cross-check information and look for the original sources of controversial claims. They should also look for fact-checks if the claim at hand is already debunked by fact-checkers.

We urge social media content creators to be responsible and avoid disinforming the populace on the platforms. They should be careful of giving unconfirmed and potentially misleading information.

Concerned authorities should avail information to both the public and the media on timely matters. Full access to information should also be secured as a basic right.

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