"Our greatest responsibility is to be good ancestors."

-Jonas Salk

Wednesday, August 18, 2010


Alexander Ac writes:
Anybody noticed Niger?

"Niger is now facing the worst hunger crisis in its history, the UN's World Food Programme says, with almost half the population - or 7.3 million people - in desperate need of food."

From the link:
After a prolonged drought, heavy rains have now hit parts of the country, killing at least six people.

The WFP says 17% of children, or one in five, are acutely malnourished.


The UN said more than 67,000 people lost their homes after severe rains in the past week.

The River Niger - the third largest in Africa - reached its highest level for 80 years, said the regional river authority, the ABN.

But the rains came too late to rescue this year's crops, which have already failed.

"This year was a double whammy," Christy Collins of the aid agency Mercy Corps told the Associated Press news agency.

Update: Via Wikipedia
- July 2009 estimate 15,306,252
- 2001 census 10,790,352
- Density 12.1/km2 (31.2/sq mi)


Anonymous said...

I'd not seen this covered in the news, yet more flooding.

Vinny Burgoo said...

2005 all over again. The crisis isn't what many said (hoped?) it would be. Things are still hard in Niger, but they always are. (I've actually been there.) Most Nigeriens live on marginal land and all 'enjoy' marginal governance. Sometimes the rains arrive, sometimes they don't. When they don't, the West cries 'Global warming! We're all guilty!' When they do, the West cries, 'Floods! Global warming! We're all guilty!'

Strange how you don't hear the West crying with equal conviction
in years when the rains are good but the people are still hungry, 'We're not guilty but your leaders are!'

OK, perhaps not so strange. News cycles and all that.

But, MT, are you going to update this post with, say, links to articles about the famine-that-never-was and the floods-that-were-business-as-usual (if you can find them) or are you going to be like the mainstream media and just move on to stoking up the next scare-story?

Michael Tobis said...

Got any leads? So far all I have is your claims.

I think massive hunger is a story for a sustainability website, global warming or not.

I certainly never suggested that incompetent government isn't an issue on the sustainability front. And indeed, I have been suggesting that cultures that overvalue childbirth may be largely setting themselves up for disaster.

But you're not giving me anything. Alexander at least gave me something.

Vinny Burgoo said...

I posted that comment because I noticed the absence of Niger famine alerts at ReliefWeb and similar sites and a continuing trickle of famine stories in the press (the press has been pushing the idea of an imminent and unprecedented famine since last year), so didn't have a link to supply, but as it happens Medicins Sans Frontieres issued a press release yesterday:

'Every year, the population of Niger is affected by a nutritional crisis that peaks between May and September. The scale of the crisis in 2010 is particularly worrying.'


So, worse than most years this year but an annual, preventable event.

While I'm posting links, a fascinating, if off-topic story was posted at the Nowshera District (northern Pakistan) blog a couple of days ago: