The famine ghost is back to haunt the horn and the east
Little seems to be on the side of the already poor people in the horn and east of Africa, I have been to this place and I have witnessed what no man would ever wish for, Years of wars have not been enough a punishment for the millions who stay in the area and it seems the winds of luck are not yet on the way to meet the ever waiting hands in the region.
In the Kenyan Tulkana region, the most common food is wild grass which for long has been known to be only for the animals. In fact grass is slowly becoming gold in this semi desert area, the people and the animals are now competing for this even sour grass just to stay for another day on this planet. Worse of all, the now “staple” grass is poisonous and people have to cook it for more than eight hours just to neutralize the poison.
The situation like this have so long been part of lives of the people in many parts of Ethiopia, in some places, people have been seen eating their clothes, tress are reducing just because people are feeding on the leaves. A person of 25 years can easily be mistaken for one of only 10 years since the very high levels of malnutrition can not produce any better bodies.
In Uganda, where I have spent a very long time, the situation is moving from bad to worse, from wars to famine, from suffering to agony. Just a few months after the end of the nearly 20 year old war, famine has severely stuck the survivors of the war. Just after people have just left the internally displaced camps where life could only be described as miserable, they have been welcomed home by the severe famine, the government of Uganda in its quest to get a long time solution for the famine distributed fast growing seeds for planting in these areas.
However, due to the situation of intense disparity for food, people resorted to eating these same seeds, which are poisonous just like many other engineered seeds, of course with a price, they have been hospitalized and others have been buried, however, little blame can be placed on the heads of people without foods but with seeds in their hands.
Many have been relying on food aid which can’t last for a long time; a family of 5 people will have to share a kilogram of posho for a full week just in case they are lucky to get more aid any time sooner. Rain would be the remaining savoir to come to the rescue of these suffering people, but the bad side of it is than when the rains come in eastern Uganda, they only come in form of floods thus destroying the little food which may exist, it looks like a situation of “from curse to curse” and millions have lost hope in their lives
From the Kenyan areas of kalacha to the Ugandan areas of Teso and West Nile right to the heart of Tanzania, people have been haunted and killed by the famine ghost which is not showing any signs of resting. I met an elderly man probably in his 70s in the Ugandan areas of Teso who had stayed for two days without food, he was so weak and any food would be from a hand of an angel, he told us that he had watched his friends starve to death and he was also waiting for his day to meet his creator. I nearly shed a tear, and I also understood he was just one of the millions who are in a similar and or even worse situation.
It seems the situation is far from being solved, just a few days ago, people from the Butambala areas of Uganda came out to ask for their government’s help since their land is too barren to produce any food. Water is becoming gold and even when it’s got, it’s always unsafe to take, but an hungry man no bounds on what is safe or not, these people may soon move from war to famine to other diseases. In some countries like Somalia, the combination of the three undesired outcomes of war, famine and diseases is already claiming lives of many.
- SDA Uganda - Seventh-day Adventists in Uganda news source about the SDA Church, Articles and News
Seventh-day Adventists in Uganda news source about the SDA Church, Articles and News