A combination of climate change effects and the worst drought in 50 years has led international charity Oxfam to forecast that approximately two million people in Chad will be facing hunger this summer.
Chadian Farmer (F): For the last 10 years, all of our hard work in our fields has produced nothing. Because there has been little rain, so we have to buy maize from the market.
Dr.Marzio Babille – UNICEF Representative in Chad (e): Unprecedented impact of lack of rainfalls has accelerated vulnerability in malnutrition rates.
Zara Hassan – Chadian Farmer (F): Nothing grows here. The sand has taken over and there is nothing left. The soil has gone and the land is now covered with sand.
With lands left barren by desertification, a process driven in part by deforestation for fuel as well as overgrazing by increased livestock populations, the region’s limited resources have been further strained by Arab herders moving south in search of water and food for their animals.
Increased tensions over shortages have even led to violence in some cases. Chief Engineer Nekarambaya Kamndo of eastern Chad’s Am Dam District noted vastly decreased rainfall in recent years as well as a change in landscape and climate.
He stated, “The desert is advancing. The sand is moving onto the streets like it hasn’t before. And it’s very hot. I’ve never known it so hot.”
Our heartfelt sympathies are with the suffering Chadian people as we pray for the blessing of gentle rain and that our swift steps toward sustainable lifestyles soon relieve such inadequacies in Chad and other drought-stricken areas of our globe.
Speaking during an April 2009 videoconference in South Korea, Supreme Master Ching Hai addressed the tragic repercussions of food shortages, as well as the simplest and most efficient solution.