Sunday, May 13, 2012


Chad Famine – Mothers Breaking Apart Anthills in Search of Food


N’DJAMENA, Mar 29 (IPS) – “Only God knows what will happen to me and my children – for two months there’s been nothing to eat. We’re living like beggars,” Henriette Sanglar, a mother of four in the Moursal quarter of the Chadian capital, N’Djamena, told IPS. Oxfam International says that in Tassino, a village in Chad, women are breaking apart anthills, searching for grain stored there by ants. Credit:Irina Fuhrmann/Oxfam “The famine is gaining ground, even here in N’Djamena,” said Diane Nelmall.


well, those headlines are kind of salacious, however a famine IS creeping up on tchad -

Rice is now over $80.00 a sack, millet is $50-60 dollars a sack, and I have seen more children with malnutrition this month than any of the previous months. 

and some of the malnutrition is glaring, most is not the kind that would grace the cover of TIME magazine, but more and more, you can count every rib, their skin wrinkles around them, arms to skinny, legs all jutting bones, dehydration dipping into the tops of their heads, you can run your finger along the scalp and feel the hollow

more and more they are saying they have no money, more and more they are telling me, "we haven't eaten today" 

Staple foodstuffs are scarcer this year, driving the prices higher and out of the realm of affordability for many

and we have many months to go before the harvest

and even that is no guarantee.

even though the heat is still oppressive, the rains are more frequent now and all the oxen are being mobilized to start planting the rice fields.  Oxcarts driven by ragged barefoot boys with medieval farming equipment slashed to the back rattle by

when everyone with oxen has finished planting, then they will sell their services to the people without

they are headed to the fields again, splashing through new mud, ready to begin another season

because Tchad may be short of many things

but it is never short of grit, hope, and resilience

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