The broad belt of barren, waterless soil which stretches across the African continent has brought with it famine on an immense scale.
The broad belt of barren, waterless soil which stretches across the African continent has brought with it famine on an immense scale. United Nations relief organisations and other aid bodies throughout the world have poured in food and other essentials in vast quantities. But still it is not enough. It can never be enough. An aspect of the long standing crisis situation which is apalling is the fact that thousands of tons of food and supplies stand rotting on quaysides in deepwater African ports.
One such place is the port at Djibouti, coastal capital of Afars and Issas, one of the feeder ports for the famine struck peoples of the Ethiopian hunger belt.
Film taken there on Friday (26 July) shows mountains of sacks of rotting wheat, corn and other perishable goods together with burst, crumpled cartons of tinned goods and cardboard packaged supplies in an advanced state of deterioration.
The large dumps of foodstuffs stand ignored. The wind has whipped grain into beach-like areas as it spills from unattended burst sacks. Paper and cardboard litter is strewn across a large area. No move appears to be made to attempt to salvage anything -- much of it, according to reports, is beyond salvage.
Since March a major part of these supplies has stood exactly where it was unloaded from relief ships. It appears there is insufficient transport to take the food to an Ethiopian distribution point.
A shortage of rail rolling stock is said to be the root problem. Meanwhile countless people go hungry, malnutrition among children is rife and a hopeless future confronts the simple people, many of them nomads, who inhabit the arid, unfertile areas where the Sahara Desert encroaches relentlessly every hour.