Who’s to blame for the drought in East Africa?
The faces of hunger and famine have become part of perennial shame as drought hits the East African region once again. I have to say, this did not come as a surprise – the writing has been on the wall as early as last year August.
The weather man had predicted that there was going to be hard times ahead and the situation needed to be dealt with and planned for before things got out of hand, but due to poor planning the situation has deteriorated.
In Somalia the situation is made worse by the conflicts between the weak transitional government and militant group Al Shabaab which controls much of Southern Somalia. The Militant group said to have links to Al Qaeda have not made it easy for the Somali civilians, even after the famine situation was reported early they blocked outside help from getting into the country. Fear of killing Aid workers, kidnapping and charging the organisations caused some of the offices to be closed down in Somalia.
The fighting and corruption between the Western backed Transitional Federal Government is turning out to be an embarrassment to a country seeking for an international help.
The TFG which lacks the people’s support has failed to put aside policies that would save the population and has instead been accused of prolonging the conflict and famine in Somalia.
The international community are also to blame. They were briefed and warned of the current situation long before it even started but they have failed to deliver help in time. The situation was getting out of hand with hundreds facing starvation and that’s when the internal community reacted.
Earlier on, military group Al Shabaab taxed food that was coming from the humanitarian organisations, and this made western countries delay funding which would have done something to help the current situation.
In North Eastern Kenya, which is now home to the world biggest refugee camp, the area has been neglected for a long time by the central government and the residents have had to depend on humanitarian agencies.
Failure of the government to plan and focus on long term projects has made the situation unbearable for the residents from the upper North Eastern region, and now it’s worsened by the huge number of refugees streaming in to the country.
The world has undoubtedly responded immensely well to the current situation, but it would be a happy day for everyone if as much focus was placed on long-term programmes to build spirit in communities, as is now on placed feeding the hungry.
Although the current situation can also be blamed on climate change, failure of governments to focus on agriculture and irrigation schemes; until that time when a different approach is taken, the cycle is bound to reoccur.Tagged in: Al Shabaab, drought, East Africa, famine
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