21 November 2011
Pressure on meagre food stocks in Chad is growing as a hunger crisis once again looms over large parts of West Africa.
The landlocked country of 11 million people experienced little rainfall during its May to September rainy season.
As well as southern areas, new reports suggest northern districts are experiencing a food squeeze.
Levourne Passiri, Tearfund Country Representative for Chad, says people in Oum-Hadjer are expecting poor harvests after inadequate rains.
Added to their woes, locusts and grain-eating birds have been attacking crops; ‘That has increased the despair of the local population,’ he said.
Tearfund partner PEDC is providing growers with new seeds so they can start planting.
People in Chad, most of whom live on US$1 a day according to the United Nations Development Programme, are also having to contend with higher staple food prices. Since last autumn, rice is up 24 per cent and sorghum has risen by 30 per cent.
Chad suffered a food crisis in 2009-10 when it experienced a below-average cereal harvest, but also a second consecutive year of poor rains in pastoral areas.
As well as Chad, the West African states of Mali, Burkina Faso and Niger are facing growing food problems.