Over 18 million people are estimated to be affected by the drought in the Sahel. In Burkina Faso Diakonia has taken the lead in a large ACT appeal. In our humanitarian relief effort we assist 56 600 people to get food and survive until the next harvest. Other ACT-members are also present and the coorination with them is making work more efficient.
No harvests and rising food prices
It was clear several months ago that the hunger would come and affect the already very vulnerable population in Burkina Faso, one of the poorest countries in the world.
The unusually severe drought caused crop yields failed to materialize and now almost all in rural areas depend on being able to buy food from the local market. But the food prices are constantly raising and the situation of already poor families are now extremely tight.
Hot water instead of food
Many families have reduced the number of meals per day from three to one. The quality of food has also gone down.
In some areas, such as Nasséré and Ganyela our mapping tells that 15 percent of the households no longer eat even one meal a day. Some people report that they drink hot water to suppress the hunger.
In the eastern parts of the country, partners are reciving reports about poor families trying to marry off their young daughters to wealthy men.
The families who have livestock or property to sell are trying to do it to get money for food.
The work of Diakonia and partners in Burkina Faso
The humanitarian relief effort is targeting approximately 56 600 people. It is part of the ACT appeal for Burkina Faso. The work on the ground is done by our local and well established partner organizations:
APME-2A: A national organization that normally works to help small farmers increase their harvests. They especially support women and young people in rural areas. For example, they are selling cereal to half the market price to 5000 people in Sanmatenga, Namentenga and Bam.
TinTua: Started as an organization for literacy, but has been working for several years with a broader approach and helps people achieve better living conditions. TinTua works primarily in eastern and central parts of Burkina Faso. As part of the current humanitarian effort TinTua distributes free food to 500 people in the eastern parts of the country and sells grain at reduced prices to 2500 people.
Rapped: A national children's rights organization that provides education and offer protection for vulnerable children. The organization's role now is to give children in camps with refugees from Mali support and protection. Food distribution to 3500 people in the provinces Kadiogo and Oudalan.
AEERB: Now working with food security in the province of Bam. Hands out 16 691 special nutritional kits for children under five years of age and provide 17 500 people with food. Works in most cases with health, education and food safety. Has experience in humanitarian efforts in the past.
AEERB is not a partner organization to Diakonia in the past, but has chosen to join Diakonia's work in this humanitarian effort as being a member of the ACT alliance.
Nebie Bassia in Leo is 40 years. She maintains herself and her four children on her small farm. She has joined with other small producers. Together, they get a larger crop and can help each other with sales and processing. Photo: Ollivier Girard
Refugees from Mali need food and shelter
After the coup d'etat and unrest in Mali tens of thousands of people has fled to neighboring Burkina Faso. On May 10, the Diakonia partner organization RAPPED reported that 56 000 people, half of them children, had arrived in the capital Ouagadougou to seek security. These refugees get special attention in the ongoing humanitarian work.
Coordination gives effective assistance
The international Organization Christian Aid is also doing humanitarian work in Burkina Faso and Diakonia coordinates with them so that the assistance reaches the familiens where it is most needed. Christian Aid's local partner organization ATAD for example, helps 1 600 people in the provinces Sanmatenga and Namentenga with new and more drying-resistant seeds.
The organizations Lutheran World Federation and ICCO are also in place and making a difference. Diakonia coordinates with them as well, so that we are as efficient as possible.
By learning to count, you know how much you need to plant in order to get a harvest that will last. You will also know what costs you have and at what price you must sell the harvest at the market. Yoni Djeneba is living at a small farm in Lamoungou but is also studying with the help of the organization TinTua. She dreams of being able to teach others to read and write. Photo: Ollivier Girard