Gordon Campbell | Parliament TV | Parliament Today | News Video | Crime | Employers | Housing | Immigration | Legal | Local Govt. | Maori | Welfare | Unions | Youth | Search

 

Urgent humanitarian crisis looms in East Africa

Urgent humanitarian crisis looms in East Africa


World Vision's communications director for East Africa, Nigel Marsh, says the Horn of Africa needs urgent help now. As the United Nations doubles its financial appeal for Somalia (21 March) to US$326m, Marsh emphasizes that although it is not an official famine yet, "early action is essential to prevent a famine like the 1980s one that devastated Ethiopia".

Marsh and his team have been monitoring the situation in Somalia, Ethiopia, Burundi, Kenya and Tanzania, and he says it's critical for developed countries to send help now. "A serious crisis is looming, but intervention now can prevent millions of deaths."

He says in areas where World Vision has been working long term, the people are coping better with the drought because of irrigation schemes, canals, water catchment projects and wells that have been in place for some time.

The bad news is 14.2 million people are in danger of starvation in East Africa unless funds are raised for food and water.

Sidebar:

The Horn of Africa is crying out for water. There is nothing to eat, nothing to drink and nowhere to graze. Thirst is extreme in Oleopolos village in Loodariak, Kenya, but the safest drinking water is 15 kilometers away.

When 15-year-old Monica Kimiti finishes school for the day, she has to trek this distance to get water for her large family. She is the only member of the family who has the energy as she is guaranteed a meal in school during the day, through World Vision's school feeding programme.

Children were coming to school hungry, fainting and falling asleep because of hunger, so World Vision initiated a school feeding programme at this and many affected schools throughout their project areas.

Loodariak, like the rest of Kenya, is dry. Temperatures soar to as high as 40 degrees Celsius. There is nothing green in the vicinity. Most livestock, including wild animals like antelopes, have died or are too weak to walk. A tragedy for this Maasai community, who rely on livestock for their livelihood.

In November, Monica's father dispatched his 18-year-old son, Moses – who sat his grade twelve national examinations last year – with two surviving cows to search for pasture.

"My brother is awaiting his examination results is in Nairobi. I understand he treks from area to area grazing our cows and those of other relatives," Monica says.

She says the grazing in the city violates the government's by-laws that prohibit livestock into the city centre. This led to his arrest last month. He was locked up until her elder sister paid the fine.

Monica hopes and prays for rain. She describes hunger that has hit the area as the worst form of human degradation, as those starving violate their dignity to access food to survive.

Currently, 3.5 million people including 500,000 school children in Kenya require emergency food aid. The drought has been persistent for the last six years with five consecutive failed rainy seasons depleting all sources of livelihood.

The United Nations and other experts have warned that unless aid trickles in now, a human catastrophe is imminent.

World Vision NZ is accepting donations for the Horn of Africa food crisis on 0800 80 2000, or through the website: www.worldvision.org/donations

ENDS

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Regional Headlines

Supreme Court: Worksafe Decision On Whittall Pike River Prosecution Unlawful

The question in issue on the appeal was whether WorkSafe New Zealand acted to give effect to an unlawful agreement of this nature when it offered no evidence on charges against Peter William Whittall for breaches of the Health and Safety in Employment Act 1992...

The Supreme Court... has found that the decision to offer no evidence was made under an unlawful agreement to stifle prosecution. It has granted a declaration to that effect. More>>

 

Cullen To Chair: Tax Working Group Terms Of Reference Announced

Finance Minister Grant Robertson and Revenue Minister Stuart Nash today announced the Terms of Reference for the Tax Working Group and that the Group will be chaired by Sir Michael Cullen. More>>

ALSO:

Gordon Campbell: On The New Pike River Agency (And The Air Strike Wing)

Much of the sympathy the public still feels for the families of the Pike River miners has been sustained by the sense that the previous government – let alone the mining company and the processes of receivership and litigation – has never dealt honestly, or fairly, with them. More>>

ALSO:

Not Going Swimmingly: Contractor Cut, New Dates For Christchurch Sports Centre

“As an incoming Minister, I have been conducting a thorough review of progress on the Anchor projects and to learn of a $75 million budget blowout on this project was very disappointing..." More>>

ALSO:

Tertiary: Allowances, Loan Living Costs To Get Boost

“From 1 January, student allowance base rates and the maximum amount students can borrow for living costs will rise by a net $50 a week,” says Education Minister Chris Hipkins... further adjusted from 1 April 2018 in line with any increase in the CPI. More>>

ALSO:

Foreign Affairs: Patrick Gower Interviews Jacinda Ardern

Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern says discussions have already begun on how to bring climate change refugees into New Zealand under a Pacific seasonal employment plan... More>>

ALSO:

Gordon Campbell: On The Centre Right’s Love Of ‘Nanny State’

You’d almost think it was 2005 again. That was a time when the rugged individualists of the centre-right were being beset by government regulations on the nature of light-bulbs, the size of shower heads, the junk food available at school tuck shops and other such essentials... More>>

 
 
 
 
 

LATEST HEADLINES

  • PARLIAMENT
  • POLITICS
  • REGIONAL
 
 

Featured InfoPages

Opening the Election