West Africa food crisis: a daily struggle
Concern Worldwide is working with poor families in Chad, providing them with desperately needed food. As food stocks dry up, we will be distributing food along with the World Food Programme. We are also helping communities to plant good quality seeds so that they will have a better harvest this year. We aim to help around 6,880 families over the coming months.
One of the families we are helping is Hawa’s. We will be working with Hawa and her family over the next few months. This is her story.
Hawa Mahamoud returned home to Ambaouda in eastern Chad with her family in 2011 after years of being displaced because of conflict. They arrived before the planting season but, due to the poor rains, their two fields yielded less than a sack of sorghum.
Hawa has eight children and her husband is too old to work. She has already sold off her five goats for around €120, which she has spent on food and the cost of returning home. Her granary, a large clay jar used to store grain, is almost empty.
Surviving one day at a time
In January, Hawa’s family only had enough cereal for another month. The harvest is not until September. Her family of ten people now live on two coros of sorghum a day, which is equivalent to about two large mixing bowls.
Every day, she pounds the sorghum down into a flour and mixes it with water to make a paste. If she can afford it, she makes a sauce with leaves and tomatoes to eat with it. Before, when the harvest was good, she used to add meat or peanut paste. She grows some vegetables in the nearby wadi, a muddy river, most of which she sells to buy the few coros of cereal her family needs to survive.
In God’s hands
All Hawa can say about the future is that “it is in God’s hands.” She does not know how her family will make it through the planting season all the way to the next harvest.
Our charity work in Chad
We are committed to helping Hawa’s family and other poor families in Chad struggling to find enough food to survive. We also plan to improve irrigation techniques in these communities to reduce the effects of future droughts.
We are continuing to respond to the food crisis in west and central Africa but more help is urgently needed.