Hunger in the news
12 February 2009
Sheltering under a tree from the scorching midday heat, eyes glued to the clear blue sky, Kiziba Wamwagudu hopes for rain. None has fallen in months. Crops have withered away in the dry, dusty soil, and food is scarce and costly. Like millions of others in southeast Kenya, Wamwagudu, 68, and his extended family of 18 are slowly being driven into the jaws of hunger. [...] To avoid future food shortages, the U.N. World Food Programme is encouraging the use of simple irrigation and using crops that can survive with less rain. "Millet and sorghum are drought-resistant crops, and this is one of the ways people can change their farming culture to fight drought," explains Gabrielle Menezes, a spokesperson for the food aid agency. While the government puts the number of those without enough food at 10 million, WFP estimates 3.2 million are in urgent need of aid. It is feeding 1.2 million people and hopes to extend assistance to a further 2 million, according to Menezes. The U.N. agency will soon start assessing the hunger situation jointly with the government.