ONE member and Peace Corps volunteer Brandon Green will be sharing his experiences in Burkina Faso with ONE Blog readers in the series, “Back to Africa” over the next few months.
The famine in East Africa is barely over and I’m sure that many of you have already heard that a food crisis is about to hit the Sahel. Burkina Faso has officially declared itself in a state of emergency. When I arrived here last year, it was right at the beginning of the rainy season, a crucial agricultural period. During this season, men, women and children are all out working their fields. Agriculture, an important part of every Burkinabe’s daily life, takes up over 90 percent of Burkina Faso’s economy. Almost every Burkinabe family relies on their fields, to feed their families. Even though to me it seemed as if it was constantly raining, it was nowhere near enough. Corn that was supposed to be taller than me only came to my shoulders.
Everywhere around the country, prices are being drastically raised for food items due to shortages. Women are selling fewer vegetables for higher prices. A large sack of millet that last year cost around $20 is now selling for over $40. Children are showing signs of increased malnutrition and people and livestock are being displaced. Normally, the “hungry” season, where food begins to run out for families, starts around May and lasts till September. Due to the severely poor harvests, the “hungry” season has already begun. Millions of lives are at stake.
It is important to help those in dire need in the Sahel. International aid organizations are already taking action. Tons of food items are being donated. But more importantly, we need to equip farmers with the ability to manage droughts by investing in proven sustainable agricultural methods. In today’s world, there is no reason a person should die of hunger. With your help, this can become a reality.
For more information, go here: http://one.org/c/international/hottopic/4060/