Shocking Before and After Photos of California Mega Drought!
Drought in Kenya
Southwestern Kenya is suffering through two seasons without rain. The Kenyan government states that there are now ten million people who are in urgent need of food aid. The arid, northern part of the country is worst hit, but the effects are now spreading to food producing areas, including those near the coast. These vital agricultural communities produce the country’s maize, the staple food of Kenya.
Sixty-year-old Kizigwa Mwagudu’s farm produced thirty to fifty bags of maize before the rains failed. Now he says he hasn’t had a successful crop in months.
[Kizigwa Mwagudu, Farmer]:
This season I have harvested nothing. As you can see everything is dried up, the crop never even matured, it did not bear anything because of the sun.
The situation is made worse by an already existing shortfall of maize in Kenya caused largely by the crisis of early 2007. An outbreak of violence over a disputed election killed thirteen hundred people and drove three hundred thousand from their homes. It also comes at a time when the government is mired in corruption scandals. Critics say Kenya’s coalition government is partly to blame for the grain shortfall because of poor planning and high-level corruption involving the import, storage and sale of maize. Market forces and rising food prices have also played a role.
Gabrielle Manezes is the public information officer for the U.N.’s World Food Program (WFP). She sees a number of factors, like rising food prices and the drought, as being responsible for the current food crisis. According to Manezes, the South eastern area is particularly affected by the drought.
[Gabrielle Manezes, Officer, World Food Program]:
They depend on the rains to create 70 percent of their food and they are reporting to have totally failed crops.
The drought is also causing hardship around the East and in the Horn of Africa, particularly Somalia and Ethiopia. In Kinangu, women are making up for the poor harvest by crushing stones in quarries so they can earn money to go into major towns and buy food.
The government declared a national emergency over the drought early last month and made an international appeal for four hundred seventy million U.S. dollars.
Philippine farmers battle drought
The Philippines suffered from severe flooding during last year’s typhoon season.
But this year, authorities are worried about damage from a severe drought that has devastated agricultural areas and dried-up water supplies across the country.
Al Jazeera’s Marga Ortigas reports from Isabela, a province in the country’s north.
[February, 28, 2010]
Syrian farmers battle drought
Climate Change has left farmers in Syria doing something they have never done before – relying on food hand-outs.
Three years of consecutive drought has led to the country producing less than half of its food needs.
According to the UN World Food Programme [WFP], about 1.3 million people are severely affected, and 300,000 are in urgent need of help.
Hoda Abdel-Hamid reports on the people who are losing hope that things will ever return to how they once were.