“BAIDOA, Somalia — First the trees dried up and cracked apart.Then the goats keeled over.Then the water in the village well began to disappear, turning cloudy, then red, then slime-green, but the villagers kept drinking it. That was all they had.Now on a hot, flat, stony plateau outside Baidoa, thousands of people pack into destitute camps, many clutching their stomachs, some defecating in the open, others already dead from a cholera epidemic.“Even if you can get food, there is no water,” said one mother, Sangabo Moalin, who held her head with a left hand as thin as a leaf and spoke of her body “burning.”Another famine is about to tighten its grip on Somalia. And it’s not the only crisis that aid agencies are scrambling to address. For the first time since anyone can remember, there is a very real possibility of four famines — in Somalia, South Sudan, Nigeria and Yemen — breaking out at once, endangering more than 20 million lives.International aid officials say it’s the biggest humanitarian disaster since World War II. And they are determined not to repeat the mistakes of the past.”
There is a lot we can do to help this situation, though Trump wants to cut foreign aid dramatically. We should provide aid, and military assistance, and make our aid contingent on severe family planning, and population control programs. During the dark days of the Trump regime, most non-military aid will apparently have to come from NGO’s and our allies. We have such ugly choices. To do nothing, will also achieve significant population decreases through suffering and death. To succor these people, without severe family planning, would be throwing fuel on a fire.
Here is a spooky comment I approve, though I disagree, that there is nothing we as Christians or Humanists can do.
There are a few factors in this terrible famine, and I’m surprised the main one wasn’t addressed in this article. The reason there’s less water is climate change. Things are heating up, weather patterns are changing, and it’s not raining enough in these lands anymore.
The second largest problem, also not addressed here, is overpopulation. A hundred years ago we had about 1.8 billion people at most. Now we have about 7.4 billion, and it’s just too many for our resources and technology to accommodate.
The third largest is pointed out here, these nations are ruled by tyrants and chaos. It’s hard to say if anyone really rules Somalia and Yemen at this point, but South Sudan and Nigeria are controlled by rapaciously greedy men uninterested in humanitarian concerns.
As to what can be done about these problems, basically, not much. The solutions would be incredibly expensive and difficult. Doing anything about climate change at this point just means slowing it down, it can’t be reversed. Doing something about overpopulation requires a massive birth control effort and a change of the cultures involved, which all believe in having as many children as possible. And doing something about the tyranny and chaos means invading, providing a government, and basically reworking colonialism.
So I’m sorry, this famine will not be solved. The silver lining is that if enough people die from it, it will help the overpopulation problem somewhat.