For the past few weeks, northern Cameroon has been battling a food crisis. Severe weather conditions have destroyed the country's harvests and famine has spread across the far northerly regions, such as Gobo near the Chadian border.
By Anne Mireille Nzouankeu, Cameroon
Gobo is regarded as the bread basket of northern Cameroon. Millet and sorghum are staple foods for the populations of this grain-producing region. Unfortunately, these grains are also coveted by birds and other crop-eating locusts.
Last year, the area suffered from devastating flooding. “Our crops were washed away by the floods. Because the price of grain has rapidly increased, we no longer afford new supplies of produce,” explained Nacer Njoyap, who was interviewed in Gobo last August.
Aïcha Kaldoussoum, a Gobo resident, is struggling to feed her family of nine. “Most women in the region are in the same situation. That is why we have called on the Mayor for assistance,” she explains.
Mayor, Elias Voumsoumna, has responded by donating 240 bags of millet and 10 bags of rice. However, his gesture is far from enough to curb the rampant famine in the area.
Regrettably, there are still no private initiatives to assist the starving Gobo population. “We are waiting for some aid from the government or international organisations,” says Aïcha Kaldoussoum.
This region has already suffered from famine, back in September 2001, when the President responded to the crisis by distributing 4,000 tons of grain. The people of Gobo also received food aid from the World Food Programme.
However, this year, due to the severe food crisis in the Horn of Africa, people in Gobo are concerned that aid may never come.
Second part of a two part series on drought in Africa. The first part about Malawi was published on the 7 september 2011.