VOICES FROM THE FIELDTHE IRC BLOG
Photos: Drought in Mali
May 21, 2012 by The IRC
Hanna Taylor, an environmental health expert with the International Rescue Committee's Emergency Response Team, took these photos as part of an assessment of humanitarian needs in Kati district, just outside Mali’s capital Bamako:
It’s not evident in the pictures, but the district sits in the heart of the "green south" of Mali. The dust is a testament to the devastating impact of the drought that has swept across Mali and other countries in Africa's Sahel region in the past two years.
The drought and resulting hunger crisis have hit southern Mali particularly hard. The IRC is working with six community health centers in the Kati district, focusing on care for children. More than 8,000 children under the age of five in Kati alone suffer from severe acute malnutrition.
Local residents use this health center's water points because there are few other options. Many health centers don't have running water, adequate supplies of soap or the facilities they need to safely manage medical waste.
Mothers wait to have their children checked for signs of malnutrition at the health center. By current estimates, 3.5 million Malians don't have access to the food they need. The vast majority are in the south.
The drought and hunger crisis have been aggravated by a still-simmering coup in the capital and an ongoing rebellion in the north. The IRC has been meeting with our local partners on plans to provide emergency relief to people in the north.
Crisis Watch: Food crisis meets conflict in Africa's Sahel
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