Time is running out for the international relief operation in drought-stricken West Africa. And, ironically,?
Time is running out for the international relief operation in drought-stricken West Africa. And, ironically, the new danger is rain. When it comes -- and light falls have already been reported -- unpaved roads will be destroyed, and thousands of starving Africans will be isolated. So, the operation is in top gear in an attempt to stockpile enough food to last until October, when it's hoped the local harvest will help fill empty grain bins.
Western Europe and the United States are in the vanguard of the relief operation, being coordinated by the United Nations. About 90 per cent of the 25 million African facing starvation depend almost entirely on the relief supplier.
Tribesmen already have been reduced to eating grain in storage as seed for next season's crops. The five-year drought also has taken its toll of the cattle herds. A large proportion of the 57 million heed of livestock in the six worst-affected countries (Niger, Mauritania, Senegal, Mali, Upper Volta ad Chad) is already dead. Most of the surviving stock are dying.