A dream about famine, hunger, malnutrition, drought and desertification<br />Prof. Dr. Willem Van Cotthem<br />University ...
A dream about famine, hunger, malnutrition, drought and desertification
Upcoming SlideShare
Loading in …5
×

A dream about famine, hunger, malnutrition, drought and desertification

423 views
354 views

Published on

Published in: Technology, Self Improvement
0 Comments
0 Likes
Statistics
Notes
  • Be the first to comment

  • Be the first to like this

No Downloads
Views
Total views
423
On SlideShare
0
From Embeds
0
Number of Embeds
1
Actions
Shares
0
Downloads
1
Comments
0
Likes
0
Embeds 0
No embeds

No notes for slide

A dream about famine, hunger, malnutrition, drought and desertification

  1. 1. A dream about famine, hunger, malnutrition, drought and desertification<br />Prof. Dr. Willem Van Cotthem<br />University of Ghent, Belgium<br />ABSTRACT<br />Smallholder farmers and women play an important role in the combat of hunger and famine. They are key players in dryland management, soil conditioning, water harvesting, permaculture, agroforestry, container gardening, free distribution of seeds of drought-tolerant plants, nurseries of drought-tolerant fruit trees, school gardens, allotments in the cities, vertical gardening and many “best practices” more. Instead of shipping them food, one should offer them the means to produce fresh food themselves. That would be the highway to sustainable development.<br />Do we still have to be convinced that there is an urgent need for assisting the millions of people suffering from drought, malnutrition, hunger and famine in the Horn of Africa?  Who could deny that there is an urgent need of humanitarian assistance for them?<br />A financial gap to respond to this emergency has still to be closed.  That explains Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon’s appeal on many top officials described in my former posting on this blog.<br />I am convinced that Mr. Ban Ki-moon’s voice will be heard and that in the weeks, maybe months to come, sufficient humanitarian aid will be provided.  However, many children and adults will not survive this catastrophe.  Those who will be lucky, will try to stay alive for a number of years, until a new catastrophe will come.<br />And then, the same old story will happen again!  Because emergency aid, noble as it is, will never change a thing at the causes of those catastrophes.  So, it makes me sad that all those noble humanitarian aid actions will have to be repeated, some day, somewhere, etc, etc., etc.<br />Tired, after a busy day taking care of my dear wife, who had a brain stroke and remained paralyzed already for 3 years now, I wanted to go to bed for a good night’s rest, when slowly I closed my eyes in front of my computer and started dreaming.<br />I heard Mr. Ban Ki-moon pronouncing a beautiful speech about the urgent need to use all necessary funds for a worldwide application of the well-known successful methods and techniques to produce food crops with a minimum of water in all the drylands of this world.  <br />Very well informed, the Secretary-General described a number of these “success stories”, thereby reconfirming the important role of smallholder farmers and women.  He spoke about successes in dryland management, soil conditioning, water harvesting, permaculture, agroforestry, container gardening, free distribution of seeds of drought-tolerant plants, nurseries of drought-tolerant fruit trees, school gardens, allotments in the cities, vertical gardening and many “best practices” more.<br />At the end of his speech, Mr. Ban Ki-moon made clear to the audience of world leaders and directors of the agencies and organizations, that the most urgent objective to achieve will be to use our knowledge and skills to ban the hunger from this world in the shortest time, not by bringing food to the hungry, but by teaching them how to grow fresh food themselves, rural and urban people all the like.<br />What I then heard was filling my heart with great joy: a deafening applause.<br />That heartwarming noise was waking me up, sitting still in front of my computer, and although even more tired, I decided to tell you about my dream.<br />For today, that’s all, folks! But I will keep on dreaming, because the day will come …<br />

×