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

India PM Modi's Party Distances Itself From Religious Conversions

BJP under fire for being slow to rein in hardline affiliate groups allegedly trying to promote Hindu-dominant agenda by luring Muslims and Christians to convert More

Anti-Whaling Group Found in Contempt of Court

Radical environmentalists who threw acid and smoke bombs at Japanese whalers in the waters off Antarctica continue their campaign to disrupt Japan's annual whale hunt More

UN's Ban Urges End to Discrimination Against Ebola Workers

Ban was speaking in Guinea on the second day of a whistle-stop tour aimed at thanking healthcare workers of the countries at the heart of the epidemic 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.
US Decision on Cuba Underscores Divisions Among Miami Cubansi
X
Sharon Behn
December 19, 2014 9:34 PM
For decades, older, more conservative Cubans have been gathering at Café Versailles on the corner of Calle Ocho to eat Cuban food and talk politics. After hearing of President Barack Obama’s decision, a number of them gathered in front of the café with posters to protest. VOA's Sharon Behn reports on the situation.
Video

Video US Decision on Cuba Underscores Divisions Among Miami Cubans

For decades, older, more conservative Cubans have been gathering at Café Versailles on the corner of Calle Ocho to eat Cuban food and talk politics. After hearing of President Barack Obama’s decision, a number of them gathered in front of the café with posters to protest. VOA's Sharon Behn reports on the situation.
Video

Video Three Cities Bid for Future Obama Presidential Library

President Barack Obama still has two years left in his term in office, but the effort to establish his post-presidential library is already underway. The bid for the Obama Presidential Library is down to four locations in three states -- New York, Hawaii, and Illinois. As VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports, each of them played an important part in the president’s life before he reached the White House.
Video

Video Cuba Deal is Major Victory for Pope’s Diplomatic Initiatives

Pope Francis played a key role in brokering the US-Cuba deal that was made public earlier this week. It is the most stunning success so far in a series of peacemaking efforts by the pontiff. VOA religion reporter Jerome Socolovsky has more.
Video

Video Fears of More Political Gridlock in 2015

2014 proved to be a difficult year politically for President Barack Obama and a very good year for the U.S. Republican Party. Republican gains in the November midterm elections gave them control of the Senate and House of Representatives for the next two years -- setting the stage for more confrontation and gridlock in the final two years of the Obama presidency. VOA National Correspondent Jim Malone has a preview from Washington.
Video

Video Sudan School Becomes Target of Aerial Attacks

The school dropout rate is at an all-time high in Sudan's South Kordofan state because many schools have been destroyed during the three-year civil war between the government and SPLA-N rebel forces. Adam Bailes visited Sudan's Nuba Mountains' region and reports many children are simply too scared to go to school
Video

Video VOA Reporter Tours Devastated Peshawar School

Islamist militants wearing military uniforms and strapped with explosives attacked a military run school Tuesday in the northwestern Pakistani city of Peshawar. At least 141 people were killed in the horrific attack, most of them young students. VOA reporter Ayaz Gul visited the devastated school and attended the funeral of the principal who courageously tried to save her students from the deadly attack.
Video

Video Nigerians Fleeing Boko Haram Languish in Camp Near Capital

In its five-year effort to impose Islamic law in northeastern Nigeria, the Boko Haram extremist group has killed thousands of people and forced hundreds of thousands to flee. Some of those who ran for their lives now live in squalor on the edges of the capital, Abuja. Chris Stein reports for VOA.
Video

Video Aceh Rebuilt Decade After Tsunami, But Scars Remain

On December 26, 2004 there was an earthquake in the Indian Ocean so powerful it caused the Earth’s axis to wobble a few centimeters. Onshore on the island of Sumatra, the resulting tsunami was devastating. A decade later, VOA Correspondent Steve Herman reports from Banda Aceh, Indonesia, where although there is little remaining evidence of the physical devastation, the psychological scars among survivors remain.

All About America

AppleAndroid