The people of Somalia, in East Africa, are facing an acute food shortage.
GV & LV Arid plains. (2 SHOTS)
GV Dried up Shebelli river bed and parched countryside. (3 SHOTS)
LV River Shebelli at low level. (2 SHOTS)
SV Women collecting water from pipes and carrying away. (3 SHOTS)
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Background: The people of Somalia, in East Africa, are facing an acute food shortage. It is already noticeable in the towns; and aid experts say the full force of it is expected to be felt next month. There are almost no food reserves, and the Somalia government is expected to make a new appeal for international aid very soon.
SYNOPSIS: Drought is the main cause of the shortages - though there are others. This part of East Africa can normally count on long rains, from May to August, and short rains, from October to December. Last year, the long ruins were too sparse to produce a maize crop, and then the short rains failed. The effect on the land is all too obvious.
The Shebelli and Juba Rivers are so low that salt water has flowed into their deltas from the Indian Ocean. This ruins the crops and increases the risk of water-borne diseases. Besides a population of more than three million, Somalia has to support 600,00 refugees from the Ogaden who are not living in camps, and not fed by the international relief agencies. Its water supplies are just not enough for the task.