AID DELIVERY IN BARRELS<br />Prof. Dr. Willem VAN COTTHEM<br />University of Ghent (Belgium)<br />Read in the former messa...
Aid delivery in barrels
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Aid delivery in barrels

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Aid delivery in barrels

  1. 1. AID DELIVERY IN BARRELS<br />Prof. Dr. Willem VAN COTTHEM<br />University of Ghent (Belgium)<br />Read in the former message (see below):<br />AS DROUGHT DEEPENS IN ETHIOPIA, UN AND PARTNERS URGE SCALING UP OF AID<br /> HYPERLINK "http://desertification.wordpress.com/2011/04/29/as-drought-deepens-in-ethiopia-un-and-partners-urge-scaling-up-of-aid-unnews/" t "_blank" http://desertification.wordpress.com/2011/04/29/as-drought-deepens-in-ethiopia-un-and-partners-urge-scaling-up-of-aid-unnews/<br />(1) "United Nations humanitarian agencies are calling for increased assistance to an estimated 2 million people affected by drought in the Horn of Africa country, ...".<br />(2) "Water is being transported by truck to drought-hit residents".<br />(3) "UN aid agencies, working with national authorities and non-governmental organizations (NGOs), are also distributing food to households in need and providing health care, veterinary services and livestock feed".<br />(4) "The Ethiopian Government has requested an additional $75 million for humanitarian assistance this month and in May, while UN agencies and their partners have called for more resources to meet increasing needs and expand operations in the coming months to avoid gaps in aid delivery".<br />(5) "High global food and fuel price rises have raised the cost of buying and importing essential commodities, including food".<br />=================<br />Trying to help with some modest, constructive suggestions, I refer to one of my former postings:<br />Barrels for refugees and smallholder farmers in the drylands (Willem Van Cotthem)<br />Posted on April 28, 2011 by Willem Van Cotthem<br /> HYPERLINK "http://desertification.wordpress.com/2011/04/28/barrels-for-refugees-and-smallholder-farmers-in-the-drylands-willem-van-cotthem/" t "_blank" http://desertification.wordpress.com/2011/04/28/barrels-for-refugees-and-smallholder-farmers-in-the-drylands-willem-van-cotthem/<br />SOME IDEAS CONCERNING WATER AND FOOD<br />In Darfur (Sudan), the joint United Nations-African peacekeeping force (UNAMID) intends to distribute thousands of 75 liters (4 jerry cans) water containers (barrels).  I find this an excellent idea, because it is an efficient relieve of the burden for women and children of carrying water repeatedly from the source to the house.<br />Transporting water by truck to drought-hit people is only one part of the solution, offering a barrel to stock a certain quantity of water in or close to the house is the other "necessary" one.<br />As "UN aid agencies, working with national authorities and non-governmental organizations (NGOs), are also distributing food to households in need and providing health care, veterinary services and livestock feed", I guess that it must be possible to ship these goods (food, livestock feed ...) in bigger barrels (100 to 200 liters).<br />I suggested before that such barrels are available in the chemical industry, where they are used for transporting liquid or solid chemicals.  Often these barrels are not recycled and thus, they should be available at the lowest cost.<br />My logic tells me that it should be possible for the UN-organizations concerned to set up a structure to use these "useless" barrels as containers for shipping goods to drought-hit residents and leave them with the families to use them as water containers.<br />Could a part of the "additional $75 million for humanitarian assistance this month and in May" requested by the Ethiopian government and a part of the "resources to meet increasing needs and expand operations in the coming months to avoid gaps in aid delivery" be allocated to start up the use of UV-resistant barrels for aid delivery?<br />Taking into account that "High global food and fuel price rises have raised the cost of buying and importing essential commodities, including food" it seems again logic to me that it would be much cheaper to produce some food locally instead of "buying and importing" it.<br />Impossible because of the drought, you think?  Let me suggest again reading some of my messages on container gardening, published recently on my desertification blog, e.g.:<br />Windowsill gardening for houses and schools in desertified regions (Willem Van Cotthem)<br />Posted on April 28, 2011 by Willem Van Cotthem<br /> HYPERLINK "http://desertification.wordpress.com/2011/04/28/windowsill-gardening-for-houses-and-schools-in-desertified-regions-willem-van-cotthem/" t "_blank" http://desertification.wordpress.com/2011/04/28/windowsill-gardening-for-houses-and-schools-in-desertified-regions-willem-van-cotthem/<br />As one doesn't need large quantities of water to grow vegetables and herbs in very cheap containers (pots, bottles, cans ...), it is quite feasible for all the drought-hit people to grow fresh food at home.  School children can do the same at school.  And they love to do so!<br />It goes without saying that I believe strongly in the positive outcome of these two recommendations:<br />1. USE THE "USELESS" BARRELS OF THE INDUSTRY FOR AID DELIVERY TO DROUGHT-HIT PEOPLE.<br />2. TEACH THESE PEOPLE HOW TO PRODUCE FRESH FOOD WITH A MINIMUM OF WATER IN CONTAINERS.<br />I cross my fingers.<br />

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