The drought is only going to get worse. Rains predicted for October will likely be poor -- if they come at all. This hunger crisis will persist into next year. This has me worried that many more children may die. And they don't have to.
For the past two years in a row, the rains have totally failed in Northern Kenya -- and the lives of pastoralists have been violently disrupted. In fact, rains have either failed or been insufficient for five of the past seven years.
Between Anderson Cooper, Bono, and the New York Times deigning to (at least briefly) put a story about famine on the front page, it seems the world has finally taken notice of the unfolding disaster in the Horn of Africa. It is about DAMN time.
Just ten years ago, the landsape around Marsabit town was green, with fields of maize and beans, and mango trees all over the hillsides. Cool mists frequently clouded nearby Marsabit mountain. But all that has changed.
I look forward to engaging with my fellow chefs in this important discussion about what the food community can do to help the millions of Africans currently at risk from this famine, and I hope you do too.
Contrary to what the media may have made you believe, there is food in Africa. And there is enormous potential for even more food in Africa. The problem is, the food isn't reaching those who need it. And that potential is hardly being realized.
We saw what happens when over-leveraged economies like the U.S. and Europe failed to anticipate the threats posed by unsustainable debt loads; we don't want to see what happens if we ignore signs that we are over-leveraging the planet's resources.
We heard stories from motherswho had lost their husbands. Families who journeyed for weeks to arrive malnourished and in need of medical assistance. And parents who had heartbreaking stories of losing children in the flight from famine in Somalia.
When children are starving, the most urgent need is to feed them. It seems simple, but is it really? This is the question humanitarian workers confront on a daily basis at the world's largest refugee complex, in Dadaab, Kenya.