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Photo Essay on West Africa
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ylw-text.gif Dealing with Hunger Ouagadougou, Burkina Faso

The outside world often thinks the cause of starvation and malnutrition in Africa is the lack of food. While the hot, dry climate does sometimes result in low farming output, this does not account for the severity of the hunger problem today. Deciding on how to deal with this issue is not so simple, since political processes, not to mention the inevitable participation of foreign nations, control the financial and logistical distribution of food. With politics come national and personal economics, which are fertile ground for corruption. Maintaining political power requires subverting the people, and food supply is the easiest way to control a population with no recourse.

Because political change comes slowly, we attempt more immediate solutions. Serious efforts have been made to finance internationally sanctioned food distribution programs, but repeated efforts have taught us that these attempts only perpetuate the problem. Once food is consumed, the population increases but the original problem remains. When the next famine arises, more people find themselves without food.

An intermediate goal could be to address one of the most fundamental difficulties-villagers don't use simple food storage techniques to carry them through difficult seasons. Instead, they grow and consume the food they need at any given time, with little or no planning for drought conditions. Addressing this issue sounds promising, but it faces other, age-old problems: education is difficult and cultural traditions are often barriers to change.

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Country-Primary Location Name: Africa
Credit: Dan Heller
Object Name: baby-tiles.jpg
By-line: Dan Heller
Copyright Notice: Photo (c) www.danheller.com
Keywords: tiles, baby, montage, africa
Location: Africa
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Keywords: vertical, tiles, babies, montage, africa