Friday, March 14, 2014

An alarming outlook for Senegal’s hungry

IRIN: The number of food insecure in the Sahel is expected to grow from 11.3 million in 2013 to more than 20 million in 2014, mainly due to an increase in cases in northern Nigeria, northern Cameroon and Senegal. IRIN went to Louga, in northern Senegal, to find out why the number of hungry is so high.

“Nothing was harvested this year in the fields. Nothing at all,” said Ndjouga Ndianye, a farmer from Diama Nguene, a village about 15km outside Louga, which is 70km southeast of Saint Louis. “In the fields, apart from peanut scraps, there was nothing. Absolutely nothing.”  The number of food insecure in Senegal is slightly higher this year in 2011, the year of a major drought crisis.

Rains were poor - in some cases nonexistent - in 2011, decent in 2012 and poor again in 2013, say farmers in Louga. As a result, even though families built up some stocks in 2012, they were starting this year at a deficit, and many of them were in deep debt, making them highly vulnerable when 2013’s rains came late and ended early.

This dynamic, combined with improved food security surveys that are identifying previously invisible groups of food-insecure people, has caused the number of those classified as hungry to shoot up in Senegal....

No comments: