Friday, July 15, 2011

I'm mad as hell! Then what?

Time flies! After a one month hiatus, it feels like a lot has happened. And indeed a lot has happened. The most dramatic being the birth of the world's newest country; the Republic of South Sudan. Speaking of time, the media has been awash with stories of drought and hunger in the 'Horn of Africa', which has been described as the worst in 60 years. That means you'd have to go back to 1951 to find evidence of similar situation.

Estimated food security conditions, 2nd Quarter 2011 (April-June 2011): Food insecurity for the poor and very poor households in northern and eastern pastoral areas is likely to deteriorate to Crisis and Emergency levels (IPC Phases 3 and 4) in July unless urgent interventions are instituted. Though rains in Turkana district were better than in other pastoral areas, food insecurity is similarly deteriorating and is likely to fall to Crisis levels in August. (

However, the fact that the frequency and intensity of droughts has been increasing in East Africa in the past 20 years, has not been lost on many observers.The security situation in Somalia, one of the most severely hit country by the current drought, has made it virtually impossible for relief supplies to reach the population. The result has been a massive inflow of refugees into the Dadaab refugee camp in North Eastern Kenya, which has been under pressure of overcrowding, way before the surrent crisis hit hard. Government officials in Nairobi have been grappling with pressure from civil society groups to do something about sky-rocketing inflation.Members of Parliament are finding themselves in an awkward position, with the new requirement that they pay taxes on theri entire perks. Analysts, think-tanks and busy bodies are engaged in offering 'expert opinion' about 'what went wrong', like they always do, rushing from one seminar to the next.Meanwhile, people are suffering.

Of course a long term solution is necessary. Perhaps it is justified to be angry and mad at the failure to implement policies that could have averted or mitigated the effects of the drought. However, in the interim, people need help. Concrete help! And i want to be part of the solution, which i will tell you about...later.

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