Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Are they the Perpetrators of famine in somalia?

The faces of hunger and famine have become part of recurrent 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 we should be prepared for the hard times ahead and as the region we needed to plan before the situation becomes fatal but due to poor planning and lack immediate help, the situation was made worse.

In the war torn country 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 group which is 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 these organisations made the international community worry that they could be funding the group indirectly leading to some of the humanitarian organisations to close down their offices in Somalia.

The fighting and corruption between the Western backed Transitional Federal Government (TFG) 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. Corruption and infighting in the government has worsened the situation.

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.

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.

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