Drought and hunger in Africa
The Sahel, the semi-arid strip of land that across Africa and bordering the southern Sahara, again facing the threat of famine. The World Food Programme United Nations warned that some 10 million people could go hungry over the next three months, before it reaches the September harvest.
The drought, hunger and malnutrition, again ravage Africa – AP
At this time of year, the reserve Gadabeji used to be the refuge for the nomadic tribes who crossed the desert landscape at the edge of the Sahara to graze their cows. However, the scarce grass after a drought eliminated the crop last year. Cows are now too weak to stand and too skinny to attract buyers, so that the poor have no way to buy grain to feed their families.
The Sahel, the semi-arid strip of land across sub-Saharan Africa, again facing the threat of famine. The World Food Programme United Nations warned that some 10 million people could go hungry over the next three months, before it reaches the September harvest, if ever. “People have lost their crops, livestock and the ability to sustain alone, and levels of malnutrition among women and children rose to very high levels,” said Thomas Yanga, Regional Director for West Africa program.
In Chad, Niger to the west, many people have come to the northern border with Libya in search of food, said the secretary general of the UN Humanitarian Affairs, John Holmes. “The level of malnutrition is already beyond the point of risk,” said Holmes after a four-day visit to Chad. “Unless we act now or as soon as possible, there is a possibility that the food crisis becomes a disaster”
In Niger, some say that the crisis could be worse than 2005, when humanitarian organizations had to meet tens of thousands of malnourished children. “We have lost so much that we can not keep track,” said in the reserve a Nigerian Gadabeji of 45 years who must be fed to twenty families. Members of his tribe take their donkeys starving at a cloud of orange dust storm to pick up the little water they find in the dry plain. Nor are much fluid in the private wells.
Famines are nothing new in Niger, a former French colony of almost the same area as Peru. The Sahel runs through the middle of their territory and separates the sands of the Sahara of green farmland of Nigeria, its neighbor to the south. Severe droughts have marked the history of the region for centuries. Still, agriculture is beyond uranium mines, the only economic force in the country, where a quarter of the population can read. Generation after generation, the nomadic tribes follow the same trails in the same seasons, with the belongings of each in a small wooden frame pulled by a donkey.