On the quayside of the east African port of Djibouti more than 12,000 tons of maize and wheat intended for famine relief in Ethiopia has stood in sacks since the beginning of February and is now beginning to rot after torrential rains.
GV Grain stacked on Djibouti quayside
SV PAN along stacks of grain
CU ZOOM out from grain spillage and broken sacks
GV ZOOM INTO more grain and broken sacks
CU Markings on sack - Ethiopia and Djibouti
SV Sacks scattered on ground (2 shots)
CU ZOOM OUT FROM broken sack of grain
SV PAN UP from loose grain PAN around stacks of sacks
CU Man showing handful of swollen grain
GV PAN over sacks on quayside (2 shots)
Initials AE/16.42 AE/17.01
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Background: On the quayside of the east African port of Djibouti more than 12,000 tons of maize and wheat intended for famine relief in Ethiopia has stood in sacks since the beginning of February and is now beginning to rot after torrential rains.
Many of the sacks are bursting and spilling the precious grain. Much of the grin has swollen. Journalists who have visited the port in the Territory of the Afars and Issas say most of the relief grain will not be able to be used.
The maize is being taken to Ethiopia at the rate of 125 tons a day. Part of the problem is that only four-wheel drive vehicles can cross the rugged Sierra ad the desert between Djibouti and Addis Ababa. Work is due to begin on a modern road at the end of March but it will not be completed until 1976.
The director of the Djibouti port is reported to be embarrassed by the piles of grain filling his warehouses and covering the quays. He has said that similar stocks of grain are marooned at the Ethiopian port of d'Assab.
Some unofficial reports put the total number of Ethiopians suffering the effects of famine at four million - though the Ethiopian Government has said this is a gross exaggeration.
The French newspaper Le Monde has reported that sufficient transport exists to take Ethiopian coffee, meat and dried vegetables for export to the port of Djibouti, and indeed that this export trade is an important part of the port's traffic.
In February a shipment of export livestock from Ethiopia was filmed passing through the port of Djibouti.
And as the grain rots on Djibouti's quays one of Ethiopia's nomadic people's the Danakils have been reported to be in danger of dying from starvation a few hundred miles from the stocks of grain.