#Article (Archive)

Gambians desperately in need of food assistance

Mar 8, 2012, 12:27 PM

The recent public declaration by the Government of The Gambia of a food and seed emergency in the country has reinforced our earlier publication, in which we revealed that the people, especially poor farmers in the country, are in desperate need of help.

The crop failure of the 2011-2012 farming season affects over a million people in the country, either directly or indirectly, according to official sources.

And we understand that the government is seeking for some $23 million towards food relief, the national seeds requirement and fertiliser.

The government has launched an appeal to the international community and NGOs to help the country in this difficult moment, to meet the population’s food security needs.

We highlighted this problem, ever since the end of the cropping season last year, and it would have been better to take such action or make the appeal for assistance since then.

Nonetheless, as the problem still remains unsolved, all hands must be on deck to address the current situation, before it gets out of hand.

As we go to press, certain families particularly in rural Gambia have virtually nothing to eat.

The resources urgently needed by The Gambia to meet the food needs of her citizens are huge, and beyond our means.

We, therefore, join the Government to appeal to our friends in the international community, NGOs and philanthropists to come to our aid as soon as possible.

The situation on the ground clearly suggests that without early responses many people, especially children, would no doubt become malnourished in the country.

Poor farmers without any other source of income, and whose livelihood depends entirely on farming, and having no means to buy food for their families is worrying.

The experience of the 2011-2012 farming season should be a lesson for our government to look at ways and means of introducing irrigation farming, making use of the fresh water areas of the River Gambia, to supply our rice fields in case the rain fall is not enough.

Also we need to diversify our agriculture, so as to avert any unforeseen circumstances.

Secondly, it has apparently become evident that no single nation can stand on its own and solve all her problems like an island, thus the need for a good standing among the community of nations.

Even the United States of America the world’s superpower and China both need other nations.

This is why it is good to have good relations with all countries and international bodies in the world, especially those with the means to come to your rescue, in times of a national state of disaster.