Senegalese musician, Baaba Maal, has written in the Guardian about food shortages in west and central Africa and has started a petition on Avaaz. When the petition reaches 1 million it will be presented to world leaders in a joint action between Avaaz, Oxfam and Africans Act 4 Africa. The leaders it is directed at are those of the United States, Germany, France and Japan.
I support Oxfam and know that the charity is trying to raise awareness of food shortages in the Sahel and raise funds to take action promptly, rather than waiting for the emergency to become worse.
Sahel Food Crisis - addressing the emergency - investing in resilience. That is the theme for the European Commission meeting today, 18 June 2012, in Brussels.
Thinking back to my travels in Africa in 1986 -7 the Sahara is certainly very dry and not much grows there - we were lucky to find one branch to use as a Christmas tree. The desert has been spreading and making life more difficult for people in the Sahel, a vast belt across the continent on the southern fringes of the Sahara.
I think that we should help people there to plant trees, not the trees we know in Britain but trees and shrubs that can withstand the conditions and can produce fodder for animals, food and firewood for people. That would make for resilience I reckon so I am pleased to support Tree Aid. The idea of turning the desert green sounds mad but on the fringes of the desert I think that it can be done.
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