News / Africa

People in Niger Heading Toward Capital in Search of Food

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

Ukraine Purges Interior Ministry Leadership With Pro-Russian Ties

Interior Minister Avakov says 91 people 'in positions of leadership' have been fired, including 8 generals found to have links to past pro-Moscow governments More

US Airlines Point to Additional Problems of any Ebola Travel Ban

Airline officials note that even under travel ban, they may not be able to determine where passenger set out from, as there are no direct flights from Liberia, Guinea or Sierra Leone More

Nigerian President to Seek Another Term

Goodluck Jonathan has faced intense criticism for failing to stop Boko Haram militants 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.
Talks to Resume on Winter Gas for Ukrainei
X
Al Pessin
October 25, 2014 4:21 PM
Ukrainian and Russian officials will meet again next week in an effort to settle their dispute over natural gas supplies that threatens to leave Ukraine short of heating fuel for the coming winter. VOA’s Al Pessin reports from London the dispute is complex, and has both economic and geopolitical dimensions.
Video

Video Talks to Resume on Winter Gas for Ukraine

Ukrainian and Russian officials will meet again next week in an effort to settle their dispute over natural gas supplies that threatens to leave Ukraine short of heating fuel for the coming winter. VOA’s Al Pessin reports from London the dispute is complex, and has both economic and geopolitical dimensions.
Video

Video Smugglers Offer Cheap Passage From Turkey to Syria

Smugglers in Turkey offer a relatively cheap passage across the border into Syria. Ankara has stepped up efforts to stem the flow of foreign fighters who want to join Islamic State militants fighting for control of the Syrian border city of Kobani. But porous borders and border guards who can be bribed make illegal border crossings quite easy. Zlatica Hoke has more.
Video

Video China Political Meeting Seeks to Improve Rule of Law

China’s communist leaders will host a top level political meeting this week, called the Fourth Plenum, and for the first time in the party’s history, rule of law will be a key item on the agenda. Analysts and Chinese media reports say the meetings could see the approval of long-awaited measures aimed at giving courts more independence and include steps to enhance an already aggressive and high-reaching anti-corruption drive. VOA’s Bill Ide has more from Beijing.
Video

Video After Decades of Pressure, Luxembourg Drops Bank Secrecy Rules

European Union finance ministers have reached a breakthrough agreement that will make it more difficult for tax cheats to hide their money. The new legislation, which had been blocked for years by countries with a reputation as tax havens, was approved last week after Luxembourg and Austria agreed to lift their vetoes. But as Mil Arcega reports, it doesn’t mean tax cheats have run out of places to keep their money hidden.
Video

Video Kobani Refugees Welcome, Turkey Criticizes, US Airdrop

Residents of Kobani in northern Syria have welcomed the airdrop of weapons, ammunition and medicine to Kurdish militia who are resisting the seizure of their city by Islamic State militants. The Turkish government, however, has criticized the operation. VOA’s Scott Bobb reports from southeastern Turkey, across the border from Kobani.
Video

Video US ‘Death Cafes’ Put Focus on the Finale

In contemporary America, death usually is a topic to be avoided. But the growing “death café” movement encourages people to discuss their fears and desires about their final moments. VOA’s Jerome Socolovsky reports.
Video

Video Ebola Orphanage Opens in Sierra Leone

Sierra Leone's first Ebola orphanage has opened in the Kailahun district. Hundreds of children orphaned since the beginning of the Ebola outbreak face stigma and rejection with nobody to care for them. Adam Bailes reports for VOA about a new interim care center that's aimed at helping the growing number of children affected by Ebola.

All About America

AppleAndroid