BBC News, Horn of Africa: ‘A Vision of Hell’

by Rachel Gertz

BBC News, Horn of Africa: 'A Vision of Hell'

I can’t make sense of this.

The entire horn of Africa is in a crisis-state of drought. It cannot get foreign aid because of outbreaks of conflict perpetrated by desperate terrorist groups. 

Mothers are letting their weakest children die because it makes it less difficult to walk the 22 day journey to the nearest refugee camp without food and only a few sips of water.

Twenty-two days without food. 

And we are over-watering our lawns and golf courses. 

I try to fathom unlatching the dusty sandals from the dead body of a mother in Somalia. I try to imagine fastening them on my own feet, which are pampered by years of soft insoles and gel cushions. Then I try to imagine strapping three children to my back and walking in those thread-bare sandals. Walking for 22 days to the nearest refugee camp that already boasts an overcrowded graveyard. An empty pit ready for my skeleton baby.

Walking because my whole family will die if I don’t.

It’s difficult not to be irritated by the stupid plaid-wearing Stampeders outside the window, drinking gallons of beer and deep-throating mini donuts.

It’s difficult not to think that the blisters from those ill-fitting Stampede cowboy boots are merely a hint of the first three hours those starving Somali sandals will walk.

A Sudanese child crawls 1km to a hunger camp. The vulture waits eagerly for the child to die.

“The photo shown is the Pulitzer Prize winning photo taken in 1994 during the Sudan famine. The picture depicts a famine stricken child crawling towards a United Nations food camp, located a kilometre away. The vulture is waiting for the child to die so that it can eat it. This picture shocked the whole world. No one knows what happened to the child, including the photographer Kevin Cater who left the place as soon as the photo was taken. Three months later he committed suicide due to depression.”


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