Yesterday on my way to work, I saw two children fighting beside one of the large refuse dumps that often litter the streets in some neighborhoods and as I got closer, I realized that they were fighting over some stale, moldy bread they had picked from the trash and when one of them managed to tear off a huge chunk, he scurried away, shoving it into his mouth, maggots and all! (If that does not make you a little ill, you should probably speak to a therapist). These are the ‘hope of the future’, being killed off before that future, by hunger.
In Nigeria today, 80% of the population are said to be living well below the poverty line and that’s not to talk of the huge number who can barely eat a meal in two days. Sadly, this figure is still better than what we have in some African countries. Till date, I still have nightmares about a little girl I saw last year: Her eyes were sunken and her body shrivelled from hunger as she lay immobile on a dirty little makeshift cot on the floor. At first glance, we thought she was dead. The little girl had sticks for hands and was so weak from hunger that she had to be spoon-fed. After the 2012 Nigerian flood that displaced thousands of people, the rate of hunger in the country went from bad to ‘absolutely terrifying and off the charts’. Unfortunately, the little girl in question, with all her ribs standing out prominently, and her lips dry and cracked from hunger, was better looking than about 40 other children in the relief camp.
In 2012, Somali was hit with one of the worst droughts possible and yet at that particular period, elsewhere in Africa and other parts of the world, zillions of people were eating and throwing away leftovers. Hey, you probably threw away some food yourself.
Some may shrug and wonder why we are talking about world hunger when their own private, little world is falling apart because say, they had to wear the same shirt to work twice in a week. Well I am willing to bet that the little children who haven’t had anything to eat in 9 days are not thinking of going to school because food is a basic.
So how is this your problem? With every food you throw away, you contribute to decay and disease in the community and sadly those who fall easily ill from all the resultant methane emission are those who had nothing to eat in the first place. I hope the irony is not lost on you.
Now some have suggested that they want to help the fight against world hunger but because the fight is bigger than one man, they are not sure how to go about it. First off, that is no excuse because the Internet is a veritable mine of information for any serious person. Now also, the United Nation’s Environmental Programme is one of the numerous world organizations fighting hunger in the world and you can donate. Here’s an idea, convert the cost of the food you would ordinarily waste into monetary value and send to these organizations or simply just organize a buffet of sorts for the underfed in your environment. Yes, people, be a bit selfless every now and then and see if you don’t make a difference!
If you are in support of UNEP’s fight against world hunger, like this on facebook or retweet on twitter. But if you are cool with world hunger, then move on without sharing.