News / Africa

People in Niger Heading Toward Capital in Search of Food

TEXT SIZE - +

Relief officials say nearly 60 percent of families in Niger are facing food shortages because of poor rains. Some people are now leaving their villages, heading toward the capital in search of food.

In the village of Begorou Tondo, people are loading their possessions on to donkey carts for the 100-kilometer walk to the capital looking for food.

This young woman says there is simply nothing left to eat at home.

She says her family has no choice but to eat the leaves of plants growing on the side of the road, because there is nothing left to eat. They have no food, she says, and her parents have not received help from anyone.

Village chief Nouhou Senou says poor rains ruined this year's crops.

Senou says this year, people in Begorou Tondo harvested nothing, so they all have to rely on God. The village has big problems, he says, the famine is really here.

Last year's poor rains are also hurting people who live off cattle. Prime Minister Mahamadou Danda says livestock production is down 16 million tons because of a shortage of grazing. Cereal production for animals is 13 percent lower than 2008.

Cattle herder El Hadj Abdoulaye Saleh says people have no choice but to sell off livestock they can no longer feed.

Saleh says everything relies on rain. Shepherds do not want to get rid of their cattle but they have to. It is not because they want to.

The United Nations says at least 200,000 children in Niger face severe acute malnutrition requiring hospital treatment. Niger's government says more than 45,000 cases were recorded by the middle of March. That is double last year's figure.

Dr. Hamidou Hamadou is chief of epidemiology at Tera Hospital. He says they are averaging about 20 cases of severe acute malnutrition each week.

Niger needs $123 million in international assistance to meet food shortages. The country's new military rulers have spoken publicly about the risk of famine since taking charge in a coup last month. That is a clear break from the approach of former president Mamadou Tandja.

But the instability that food shortages can bring in any society could disrupt Niger's plans for new elections once politicians agree on a new constitution to replace laws President Tandja used to give himself another three years in office.

Across the Sahel, the United Nations estimates that poor farmers in Niger, Chad, and northeastern Mali will likely need food assistance at least through the early harvests in August.

You May Like

Analysts Warn of Regional Proxy Conflict in Afghanistan

Analysts warn if Kabul’s neighbors do not start to cooperate, competing desires for influence could deteriorate into a bloody proxy war in the country More

Saudi Intelligence Chief Replaced

Bandar bin Sultan came under criticism for supporting al Qaida, prompting King Abdallah to wrest Syria operations away from him in February, handing them to Interior Minister Prince Mohammed bin Nayef More

Poetry Magazine editor Don Share talks what makes a good poem with VOA's David Byrd

What makes a good poem? And is poetry as viable an art form as it once was? To find out, VOA's David Byrd spoke to Don Share, the editor of Poetry Magazine. 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.
Google Buys Drone Companyi
|| 0:00:00
...
 
🔇
X
George Putic
April 15, 2014
In its latest purchase of high-tech companies, Google has acquired a manufacturer of solar-powered drones that can stay in the air almost indefinitely, relaying broadband Internet connection to remote areas. It is seen as yet another step in the U.S. based Web giant’s bid to bring Internet to the whole world. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video Google Buys Drone Company

In its latest purchase of high-tech companies, Google has acquired a manufacturer of solar-powered drones that can stay in the air almost indefinitely, relaying broadband Internet connection to remote areas. It is seen as yet another step in the U.S. based Web giant’s bid to bring Internet to the whole world. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video Ray Bonneville Sings the Blues and More on New CD

Singer/songwriter Ray Bonneville has released a new CD called “Easy Gone” with music that reflects his musical and personal journey from French-speaking Canada to his current home in Austin,Texas. The eclectic artist’s fan base extends from Texas to various parts of North America and Europe. VOA’s Greg Flakus reports from Austin.
Video

Video Millions Labor in Pakistan's Informal Economy

The World Bank says that in Pakistan, roughly 70 percent work in the so-called informal sector, a part of the economy that is unregulated and untaxed. VOA's Sharon Behn reports from Islamabad on how the informal sector impact's the Pakistani economy.
Video

Video Passover Celebrates Liberation from Bondage

Jewish people around the world are celebrating Passover, a commemoration of their liberation from slavery in Egypt more than 3,300 years ago. According to scripture, God helped the Jews, led by Moses, escape bondage in Egypt and cross the Red Sea into the desert. Zlatica Hoke reports that the story of the Jewish Exodus resonates with other people trying to escape slave-like conditions.
Video

Video Police Pursue Hate Crime Charges Against Kansas Shooting Suspect

Prosecutors are sifting through the evidence in the wake of Sunday’s shootings in a suburb of Kansas City, Missouri that left three people dead. A suspect in the shootings taken into custody is a white supremacist. As VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports, he was well-known to law enforcement agencies and human rights groups alike.
Video

Video In Eastern Ukraine, Pro-unity Activists Emerge from Shadows

Amid the pro-Russian uprisings in eastern Ukraine, there is a large body of activists who support Ukrainian unity and reject Russian intervention. Their activities have remained largely underground, but they are preparing to take on their pro-Moscow opponents, as Henry Ridgwell reports from the eastern city of Donetsk.
Video

Video Basket Maker’s Skills Have World Reach

A prestigious craft show in the U.S. capital offers one-of-a-kind creations by more than 120 artists working in a variety of media. As VOA’s Julie Taboh reports from Washington, one artist lucky enough to be selected says sharing her skills with women overseas is just as significant.
Video

Video UN Report Urges Speedier Action to Avoid Climate Disaster

A new United Nations report says the world must switch from fossil fuels to cleaner energy sources to control the effects of climate change. The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change released the report (Sunday) following a meeting of scientists and government representatives in Berlin. The comprehensive review follows two recent IPCC reports that detail the certainty of climate change, its impacts and in this most recent report what to do about it. VOA’s Rosanne Skirble has the details.
AppleAndroid