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Leaders must think of rural people – we are starving

Women from Gwelekoro village processing cereals - Andrew Esiebo | Panos London

I’d like the new leaders of the country to think of rural people. To tell you the truth we are starving; we are living in deep poverty. Whatever we do is bound to fail because of poverty. This is the difficulty we are living with. We are hoping things will change soon. As new leaders are ruling we want them to help us. Helping us well means giving sufficient food and economical opportunities [such as loans].

We cannot grow crops without appropriate farming tools. Food security cannot be achieved for all without an appropriate farming system. It is hard for us to make money.

We are worried about the future as well, as we had a bad rainy season with insufficient rains. We are facing starvation. Those who are ruling now must take emergency actions against this problem. They have to look for food and economic opportunities so that our children can be saved from hunger.

They must also pay attention to education. We need to develop education for our children. But the emergency case is the upcoming hungry season (from June to October). It will happen in the rainy season, the moment where farmers need energy to grow crops. The government has announced it will help people with grain.

They will probably supply the cereal banks [stores where grain is sold at subsidised price]. Then people will be able to buy grain at a cheaper price. But the problem is that we are poor; we don’t have money. How will we be able to find money to buy food in those stores? They have to give it to us for free. They must give food for the time being because people are living in a desperate situation and they can’t find money from any activity other than farming.

People must be given loans also to start businesses. If we have loans we will be able later to supply cereal banks and buy grain from them. But prior to this we have to get our bellies filled with food. Even if there is grain at a cheaper price at my village cereal bank for the coming hungry season it won’t be useful to us.

As told to


Kaidia Samaké






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