The current food crisis in Niger is likely to escalate into a full-scale humanitarian emergency if urgent action is not taken, international agency Oxfam warned today. Already, 1.9 million people are at severe risk, and by April, this number could rise to 3.5 million people if help doesn’t come now, according to the National Early Warning System.
Half moon shaped irrigation channels help preserve water when it next rains. And by building them, Nigerien families earn an income to get through the hungry months until then.
According to a recent field study conducted in communities in western and eastern Niger, between 70 and 90 per cent of people estimate their food stocks will run out before the next harvest, creating an imminent ‘hunger gap’.
Adjitti Mahamat works in an Oxfam market garden in the Guera region of Chad, affected by drought. She eats the vegetables from this garden or sell them to essentially buy millet. She talks about how difficult it is to live with so little food.
Louki is a pastoralist in Bahr el Gazal, Chad. He explains that the bad quality of water from non renovated wells causes intestinal worms and mouth ulcers to his camels: they die within 10 days.
Vaccination scheme helps many people who rely on their animals in the Guera region of Chad to earn a living. In Chad, 13 out of 22 regions could be affected by this food crisis: some 2.4 million people don't have always enough to eat.
Humanitarian actors are concerned by the early depletion of food reserves of many Nigerien families and warn of the risk of aggravation of the food and nutrition crisis if the aid response is not rapidly reinforced.
In 2012 countries across the Sahel region are once again facing a serious food crisis. This ecologically fragile region is becoming increasingly vunerable to insufficient rainfall, and fluctuating animal and food prices that are affecting millions of pastoral and agro-pastoralists across this region of Africa.
Senegalese singer Baaba Maal has visited Mauritanian communities at the center of the current food crisis in the Sahel, to call attention to the humanitarian need there.