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Famines (From Mr NANA, Provincial High School of Kaya)

Sometimes in man’s life there’s nothing to eat, and this at a national and even regional level. The food is so rare that people eat anything that looks like food: animal skins, grass, leaves… The sick people and the children who are either too little or too weak to look for food by themselves die first, then the others. Men sometimes run away, leaving their families. There are many anecdotes about famines. I’ve been told that during one of these famines, the people were so weak that they couldn’t laugh when they heard a funny story. They just hit two pieces of calabash together to show their feeling.

Famines have many causes. In the Sahel countries the lack of rain is a serious threat. Trees are very important for these countries. Unfortunately people cut them to sell. People have not realized that trees prevent droughts and especially floods which carry away with them the rich top soil.

In countries like Sudan, Somalia, Liberia, Rwanda, Burundi and other countries, the war has been an accelerating factor because being in war people have no time to look for food. Their main preoccupation is to fight for survival.

In spite of the progress and modernism, famines still exist today. Foreign food aid, though it is useful to save starving populations, is not a final solution to eradicate famines on this planet. Measures tending to protect the environment will certainly be of great help.


to starve = to die from famine
drought = absence of rain
flood = inondation
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