News / Africa

Group Calls For ‘Collective’ Action against Drought, Famine

Young Somali refugees read verses of the Koran from their prayer tablets at an outdoor madrasa at the Ifo camp outside Dadaab, Eastern Kenya, 100 kms (60 miles) from the Somali border, Aug. 9, 2011.
Young Somali refugees read verses of the Koran from their prayer tablets at an outdoor madrasa at the Ifo camp outside Dadaab, Eastern Kenya, 100 kms (60 miles) from the Somali border, Aug. 9, 2011.

Multimedia

Audio
  • Clottey interview with Bobi Odiko, spokesman for the East Africa Legislative Assembly (EALA)

Peter Clottey

An official of the East Africa Legislative Assembly (EALA) in Arusha is calling for a collective effort by member countries and the international community to help combat drought and famine in the region.

Bobi Odiko said the group aims to come up with long term measures to ensure East Africa becomes food sufficient.

“As an assembly we are quite concerned about and empathize with the situation in the region,” said Odiko. “We are calling on East Africans themselves and also the international community to put together efforts in terms of support to find lasting solutions to this famine.”

He also adds that countries in the Horn of Africa often stricken by drought should “plan effectively” to combat the recurring problem.

The United Nations says more than 12 million people in the region are in urgent need of food aid.  The Horn is experiencing the worst drought in six decades.

In Somalia, where the situation is the most dire, the U.N. says over 3.2 million people are estimated to be on the brink of starvation.

Odiko said there is need for improved agricultural practices to help resolve the problem.

“You find out that we are still using the [traditional methods] of [farming]. We need to modernize the crop production system [and also] have better storage systems to [improve] our food security,” said Odiko.

He said EALA will continue to work with member states to meet the needs of people affected by the drought and famine.

Somalia’s Transitional Federal Government and some humanitarian relief groups have called for improved security following the abrupt withdrawal of the Islamic militant group, al-Shabab, from the capital, Mogadishu. They say the presence of additional peacekeepers will help protect relief workers from attacks.

Odiko echoed similar sentiments and urged countries in the region to contribute more troops to help improve security in Somalia.

“We support any initiative that goes a long way in providing security, especially for [aid] workers,” said Odiko. ”As EALA, we are going to join in the appeal to our members to see what can be done.”

VOA correspondents Peter Heinlein and Gabe Joselow reported this past week from Mogadishu, Somalia, about the humanitarian situation there. Watch some of the pictures they took during his stay.

You May Like

Video Is West Doing Enough to Tackle Islamic State?

There is growing uncertainty over whether West’s response to ISIS is adequate More

China Crackdown on Dual Citizens Causes Concern

New policy encourages reporting people who obtain citizenship in another country, but retain Chinese citizenship; move spurs sharp debate More

Video Coalition to Fight Islamic State Could Reward Assad

Losing ground to Islamic State fighters, Syria's government says it is ready to cooperate with international community More

This forum has been closed.
Comments
     
There are no comments in this forum. Be first and add one

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Is West Doing Enough to Tackle Islamic State?i
X
Henry Ridgwell
August 29, 2014 12:26 AM
U.S. President Barack Obama has ruled out sending ground troops to Iraq to fight militants of the so-called Islamic State, or ISIS, despite officials in Washington describing the extremist group as the biggest threat the United States has faced in years. Henry Ridgwell reports from London on the growing uncertainty over whether the West’s response to ISIS will be enough to defeat the terrorist threat.
Video

Video Is West Doing Enough to Tackle Islamic State?

U.S. President Barack Obama has ruled out sending ground troops to Iraq to fight militants of the so-called Islamic State, or ISIS, despite officials in Washington describing the extremist group as the biggest threat the United States has faced in years. Henry Ridgwell reports from London on the growing uncertainty over whether the West’s response to ISIS will be enough to defeat the terrorist threat.
Video

Video Pachyderms Play Polo to Raise Money for Elephants

Polo, the ancient team competition typically played on horseback, is known as the “sport of kings.” However, the royal version for one annual event in Thailand swaps the horse for the kingdom’s national symbol - the elephant. VOA Correspondent Steve Herman in Samut Prakan reports that the King’s Cup Elephant Polo tournament is all for a good cause.
Video

Video Coalition to Fight Islamic State Could Reward Assad

The United States along with European and Mideast allies are considering a broader assault against Islamic State fighters who have spread from Syria into Iraq and risk further destabilizing an already troubled region. But as VOA State Department Correspondent Scott Stearns reports, confronting those militants could end up helping the embattled Syrian President Bashar al-Assad.
Video

Video Made in America Socks Get Toehold in Online Fashion Market

Three young entrepreneurs are hoping to revolutionize the high-end sock industry by introducing all-American creations of their own. And they’re doing most of it the old-fashioned way. VOA’s Julie Taboh recently caught up with them to learn what goes into making their one-of-a-kind socks.
Video

Video Americans, Ex-Pats Send Relief Supplies to West Africa

Health organizations from around the world are sending supplies and specialists to the West African countries that are dealing with the worst Ebola outbreak in history. On a smaller scale, ordinary Americans and African expatriates living in the United States are doing the same. VOA's Carol Pearson reports.
Video

Video America's Most Popular Artworks Displayed in Public Places

Public places in cities across America were turned into open-air art galleries in August. Pictures of the nation’s most popular artworks were displayed on billboards, bus shelters, subway platforms and more. The idea behind “Art Everywhere,” a collaborative campaign by five major museums is to allow more people to enjoy art and learn about the country’s culture and history. Faiza Elmasry has more.
Video

Video Chinese Doctors Use 3-D Spinal Implant

A Chinese boy suffering from a debilitating bone disease has become the first patient with a part of his spine created in a three-dimensional printer. Doctors say he will soon regain normal mobility. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video Uneasy Calm Settles Over Israel, Gaza Strip

Israel and the Gaza Strip have been calm since a cease-fire set in Tuesday evening, ending seven weeks of hostilities. Hamas, which controls Gaza, declared victory. Israelis were more wart. VOA’s Scott Bobb reports from Jerusalem.
Video

Video India’s Leprosy Battle Stymied by Continuing Stigma

Medical advancements in the treatment of leprosy have greatly diminished its impact around the world, largely eliminating the disease from most countries. India made great strides in combating leprosy, but still accounts for a majority of the world’s new cases each year, and the number of newly infected Indians is rising - more than 130,000 recorded last year. Doctors there say the problem has more to do with society than science. Shaikh Azizur Rahman reports from Kolkata.
Video

Video Scientists Unlock Mystery of Bird Flocks

How can flocks of birds, schools of fish or herds of antelope suddenly change direction -- all the individuals adjusting their movement in concert, at seemingly the same time? British researchers now have some insights into this behavior, which has puzzled scientists for a long time. VOA's George Putic has more.

AppleAndroid