The European Commission this week pledged $27.8 million in humanitarian support to the Sahel region as floods and the coronavirus pandemic exacerbate the stability in a region deeply in conflict.
While the figure is less than 2 percent of the $2.4 billion that the United Nations has appealed for, Amnesty International researcher Ousmane Diallo told IPS that despite past donations from international development partners to Sahelian countries, the situation hasn’t improved over the years.
Dotted across the Zimbabwean city of Bulawayo, the water tanks installed in private residences is evidence that years of a water crisis, that has seen some suburbs here going for months without running water, has not spared anyone. The large plastic drums, locally called Jojo tanks after the company that manufacturers them, and which have a storage range of up to 10,000 litres, have assumed a class status of sorts in Bulawayo.
When hundreds of elephants died in the space of a few months in Botswana earlier this year, conservationists were shocked. Wildlife experts said it was one of the largest elephant mortality events in history.
Many countries in sub-Saharan Africa commit resources to promote agricultural innovations. This is based on the assumption that rural livelihoods are mainly agricultural and that the innovations will increase agricultural production and household income.
The world is actually in the throes of two pandemics. The first is COVID-19. The second is the wave of stress and anxiety, depression and substance use it has unleashed around the world. Most mental health disorders are treatable.
For those who live in slums and informal settlements, the Covid-19 pandemic has brought to the forefront their greatest vulnerabilities. But they are fighting back; organising, and coming up with creative ways to protect their communities.
The coronavirus pandemic has affected the safety and sense of community for many women in Mali given the travel restrictions and lockdowns in place, Bassirou Gaye, an assistant researcher for a 2019 report on the role of Mali women in peacekeeping, told IPS this weekend.
Africa’s hopes of feeding a population projected to double by 2050 amidst a worsening climate crisis rest on huge investments in agriculture, including creating the conditions so that women can empower themselves and lead efforts to transform the continent’s farming landscape.
As the threat of a COVID-19 pandemic emerged earlier this year, many felt a sense of apprehension
about what would happen when it reached Africa. Concerns over the combination of overstretched and underfunded health systems and the existing load of infectious and non-infectious diseases often led to it being talked about
in apocalyptic terms.
The International Day of the Girl Child on 11th October is a call for us to reflect on our responsibilities. Twenty-five years ago, governments adopted the historic Beijing Declaration and the Platform for Action.
Ismaila Badji could not bring himself to leave his house for weeks after returning to Senegal. “I failed twice; at school and on the road,” he said. “What's wrong with me? I'm still looking for the answer." After spending time in a Libyan detention centre, Badji returned to where he came from. He did not feel like himself, he lacked motivation and he suffered from stigma from the local community.
In August, police intercepted the trafficking of 31 people to Mozambique. The victims, all Malawians, included 17 children and 6 women. Their two traffickers, also Malawians, had coerced them from their rural village in Lilongwe district with a promise of jobs in estates in neighbouring Mozambique. But they were saved in large part thanks to their own community.
Sarudzai Moyo, a former teacher, has begun a new career as a fishmonger. Once a week she makes the 450km journey from Bulawayo to Binga, on the shores of Lake Kariba, where she buys between 100 and 150 kilograms of fish for resale as the demand for cheaper dietary options increase in Zimbabwe.
Lake Chad is an extremely shallow water body in the Sahel. It was once the world’s sixth largest
inland water body with an open water area of 25,000 km2 in the 1960s, it shrunk dramatically at the beginning of the 1970s and reduced to less than 2,000 km2 during the 1980s, decreasing by more than 90% its area. It is one of the largest lakes in Africa. It is an endorheic lake – meaning that it doesn’t drain towards the ocean.
The United Nations Deputy Secretary General, Ms Amina Mohammed recently commended “Kenya’s exemplary role in its response to COVID-19 and in advancing Agenda 2030
One of the biggest revelations of the COVID-19 pandemic has been that people with pre-existing, diet-related conditions such as obesity, heart disease, and diabetes, are more at risk of suffering severe forms of the disease leading to a need for intensive hospitalization.
In Amuru district, 47 kilometres from Gulu town in northwestern Uganda, the Omer Farming Company has proven that it is possible to farm on thousands of acres of land using methods that conserve the environment and its biodiversity.
As COVID-19 threatens farming communities across Africa already struggling with climate change, the continent is at a crossroads. Will its people and their governments continue trying to replicate industrial farming models promoted by developed countries? Or will they move boldly into the uncertain future, embracing ecological agriculture?
The countries of Central Sahel—Burkina Faso, Mali, and Niger—face an unprecedented crisis, marked by violent extremism, forced displacement, and rising insecurity. The sharp increase in armed attacks on communities, health centres, schools and other public institutions and infrastructure has disrupted livelihoods and access to social services. The impact on affected people is devastating.