Meet Adda. She is 42 years old and lives in Chad with her six children. Before the devastating drought, Adda and her family had up to 15 sacks of seeds to live on. Now, miraculously, they survive on just one sack (100 kg) for the whole year.
With the poor rainfall and searing heat destroying crops and making farming difficult, more and more families are increasingly without food. Along with their bitter hunger, the drought has taken so much – their health and wellbeing, and the income to provide for any kind of a life, let alone a hopeful future.
Adda says, ‘Normally the only thing we know how to do is farm. If that fails we weave mats from reeds. It takes two to three days to weave a mat, which buys two meals. Now because of the food shortage we feed the children in the morning and, even though they are hungry, we try only to feed them again in the evening. They cry all the time because of hunger. For us to stop them crying, even when they cry so much, we cannot do anything.
‘Usually we would eat one sack of crops a month for a family of 10 members. The extra could be sold to buy other things. So we could mix the foods for a balanced diet. But now there is just one sack a year. There is no option, you eat only that.’