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

UN Ambassador Power Highlights Plight of Women Prisoners

She launches the 'Free the 20' campaign, aimed at profiling women being deprived of their freedom around the world More

Satellite Launch Sparks Spectacular Light Show

A slight delay in a satellite launch lit up the Florida sky early this morning More

Fleeing IS Killings in Syria, Family Reaches Bavaria

Exhausted, scared and under-nourished, Khalil and Maha's tale mirrors those of thousands of refugees from war-torn countries who have left their homes in the hopes of finding a better life 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.
Nobel Prize Winner Malala Talks to VOAi
X
August 31, 2015 2:17 AM
Nobel Peace Prize winner Malala Yousafzai met with VOA's Deewa service in Washington Sunday to talk about women’s rights and unveil a trailer for her new documentary. VOA's Katherine Gypson has more.
Video

Video Nobel Prize Winner Malala Talks to VOA

Nobel Peace Prize winner Malala Yousafzai met with VOA's Deewa service in Washington Sunday to talk about women’s rights and unveil a trailer for her new documentary. VOA's Katherine Gypson has more.
Video

Video War, Drought Threaten Iraq's Marshlands

Iraq's southern wetlands are in crisis. These areas are the spawning ground for Gulf fisheries, a resting place for migrating wildfowl, and source of livelihood for fishermen and herders. Faith Lapidus has more.
Video

Video Colombians Flee Venezuela as Border Crisis Escalates

Hundreds of Colombians have fled Venezuela since last week, amid an escalating border crisis between the two countries. Last week, Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro ordered the closure of a key border crossing after smugglers injured three Venezuelan soldiers and a civilian. The president also ordered the deportation of Colombians who are in Venezuela illegally. Zlatica Hoke reports.
Video

Video Rebuilding New Orleans' Music Scene

Ten years after Hurricane Katrina inundated New Orleans, threatening to wash away its vibrant musical heritage along with its neighborhoods, the beat goes on. As Bronwyn Benito and Faith Lapidus report, a Musicians' Village is preserving the city's unique sound.
Video

Video In Russia, Auto Industry in Tailspin

Industry insiders say country relies too heavily on imports as inflation cuts too many consumers out of the market. Daniel Schearf has more from Moscow.
Video

Video Scientist Calls Use of Fetal Tissue in Medical Research Essential

An anti-abortion group responsible for secret recordings of workers at a women's health care organization claims the workers shown are offering baby parts for sale, a charge the organization strongly denies. While the selling of fetal tissue is against the law in the United States, abortion and the use of donated fetal tissue for medical research are both legal. VOA’s Julie Taboh reports.
Video

Video Next to Iran, Climate at Forefront of Obama Agenda

President Barack Obama this week announced new initiatives aimed at making it easier for Americans to access renewable energy sources such as solar and wind. Obama is not slowing down when it comes to pushing through climate change measures, an issue he says is the greatest threat to the country’s national security. VOA correspondent Aru Pande has more from the White House.
Video

Video Arctic Draws International Competition for Oil

A new geopolitical “Great Game” is underway in earth’s northernmost region, the Arctic, where Russia has claimed a large area for resource development and President Barack Obama recently approved Shell Oil Company’s test-drilling project in an area under U.S. control. Greg Flakus reports.
Video

Video Philippine Maritime Police: Chinese Fishermen a Threat to Country’s Security

China and the Philippines both claim maritime rights in the South China Sea.  That includes the right to fish in those waters. Jason Strother reports on how the Philippines is catching Chinese nationals it says are illegal poachers. He has the story from Palawan province.
Video

Video China's Spratly Island Building Said to Light Up the Night 'Like A City'

Southeast Asian countries claim China has illegally seized territory in the Spratly islands. It is especially a concern for a Philippine mayor who says Beijing is occupying parts of his municipality. Jason Strother reports from the capital of Palawan province, Puerto Princesa.
Video

Video Ages-old Ice Reveals Secrets of Climate Change

Ice caps don't just exist at the world's poles. There are also tropical ice caps, and the largest sits atop the Peruvian Andes - but it is melting, quickly, and may be gone within the next 20 years. George Putic reports scientists are now rushing to take samples to get at the valuable information about climate change locked in the ice.

VOA Blogs