It shouldn’t be daunting to hear that most people in Africa find it difficult to provide certain basic amenities such as clothing or shelter for their families, in addition to that, they also find it hard to provide a meal a day talk-less of the required three square meals a day. Numerous variables play a role as to why hunger is still prevalent in Africa, variables ranging from chronic poverty to political and environmental factors just to name a few.
Hunger has been a major problem in Africa for over 90 decades and efforts to paralyze the disease have been inefficacious. There’s has been a history of droughts in Africa since the 60s’ below is a synopsis of previous but more recent droughts and famine.
- The Sahel Region which consists of states between the African Savannah grasslands to the Sahara desert to the North across the West and Central Africa. The Sahel region has experienced various major droughts occurring in 1910,1940,1960,1970,1980,2010 and 2012. Although there was a brief recovery period from 1975-1980. Due to Sahels heavily concentrated rainfall in small areas droughts have to lead to the displacement of families and agricultural truncation.
- Somalia experienced its first ever drought in the mid-70s called the “dabadeer”[the long-tauld] droughts in most parts of Somalia. In 1992 it experienced its first major drought due to engaged civil war in the Somalian peninsula which lead to the starvation of many.
- Uganda: On May 27, 1980, Uganda experienced a famine like never before in the Karamoja Region of NorthEast Uganda which claimed the lives of 100 people per day and leftover 250000 severely affected by the famine.
- Ethiopian Famine: Ethiopia has experienced famines in 1970,1980,1981 but the famine that occurred in 1983-85 was the worse recorded at the time, affecting the four provinces[Gojjam, Hararghe, Tigray, Wovo] which lead to over 400,000 deaths.
- Malawian Food Crisis: The 11th if August 2005 food crisis was recorded as one of its worst crisis in a decade as a result of a combination of factors viz droughts, floods, and poor harvest. An estimate of 4.2 million people were unable to meet their daily needs.
- The Niger Food Crisis: Due to the locust damage and excess rain which affected mainly people in the northern region of Niger, about 2.4 million people were unable to meet their needs.
With a vast history of droughts, one would wonder why this problem still persists.
As at 2000, 795 million people in the world don’t have enough food to live healthy active lives. That’s about one in nine people on earth. The vast majority of the world, hungry people live in developing countries, where 12.9 percent of the people are undernourished.’
One in nine people [815 million worldwide] suffers from hunger which is about 11% of the population of the world while dealing with threating malnutrition at the same time.
Here we, look into some of the root causes of world hunger that need to be addressed if we’re to rid Africa of hunger by 2030. Some of these causes may be attributed to Poverty, Food Shortages, Conflict factors.
Poverty: The United Nations broke down poverty into two major categories “Absolute Poverty” and “Overall Poverty” and thus has adopted two definitions viz.
- Absolute Poverty is defined as:
“A condition characterized by severe deprivation of basic human needs, including food, safe drinking water, sanitation facilities, health, shelter, education, and information. It depends not only on income but also on access to services.”
- Overall Poverty which includes various forms, including:
“Lack of income and productive resources to ensure sustainable livelihoods; Hunger and malnutrition; Ill health; Limited or Lack of access to education and other basic services; Increased morbidity and mortality from illness; Homelessness and inadequate housing; Unsafe environments and social discrimination and exclusion. It is also characterized by a lack of participation in decision making and in civil, social and cultural life. It occurs in all countries: as mass poverty in many developing countries, pockets of poverty amid wealth in developed countries, loss of livelihoods as a result of economic recession, sudden poverty as a result of disaster or conflict, the poverty of low-wage workers, and the utter destitution of people who fall outside family support systems, social institutions and safety nets.”
Food Shortages: Food Shortage is a set of conditions that occur when large numbers of people in a region cannot obtain sufficient food, resulting in widespread, acute malnutrition and undernourishment
Weil said Social progress is commonly held to be first of all “a transition to a state of human society in which people will not suffer from hunger.”
Food Shortages like the ones listed above, civil war, climate change, stringent environmental factors and other extrinsic factors have all had a huge impact on why hunger is still prevalent.
Conflict: Peter Wallensteen recognizes three general forms of conflict: interstate, internal, and state-formation conflicts. Interstate conflicts are disputes between nation-states or violations of the state system. Examples of internal and state-formation conflicts include civil and ethnic wars, anti-colonial struggles, secessionist and autonomous movements, territorial conflicts, and battles over control of the government.
Conflict like the Biafran war, Ivorian civil war, Mali war have led to truncated Economic, Agricultural and Educational activities, displaced families, food shortages, poverty.
Conclusively, In a nation which fertile soils ready for vegetation, with beautiful landscapes and large fields its pathetic we still can’t feed ourselves despite all the things around us, the different factors contributing to this are complex and sometimes not the fault of the people but it’s time we reach a conscious understand and free ourselves of such problem.
Feature Image By Prince Gyasi.