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“It’s thanks to the rain that the animals graze; it’s thanks to the rain that we have food,” says Koubra Hamid, who lives with her family in Bahr el Ghazal, Chad. But she is worried.
The rains haven’t come. Not enough, and not at the right times. Across the Sahel region of Africa, poor harvests, erratic and inadequate rainfall, and rising food prices are harbingers of what many predict will be a severe food crisis. Already the poorest families are struggling with hunger, and their animals are visibly weakening.
A top priority now is to prevent farmers and pastoralists from losing their cows, goats, sheep, and camels – and with them their sources of both food and income. Oxfam’s emergency programs include providing livestock with improved water sources, fodder to supplement the dwindling pasture, and vaccinations to counteract the damage drought and hunger could do to their health. (View “ Taha vaccinates 1,000 goats per day.”)
“We’re tired and frustrated,” says Hamid. “But there are also moments when we laugh with our children.”