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Wednesday, August 10, 2011

AFRICAN CRISIS: Inside Somalia’s Crippling Famine!

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David Muir, / Aug 8, 2011 12:40 PM EDT.


My assignment in Africa occurred as our own country fixated on the debt debate in Washington. But I came face to face with a debt of a different sort.

It’s shortly after daybreak and the sun has risen over the giant red gate in Dadaab, Kenya. We arrive by truck, and in the distance, through the fog of dust, we see the crowd gathered in blistering heat. It isn’t until we are among them that we witness one of the most searing images of all: a mother emerging from the parched desert carrying the sum of her family’s belongings upon her head and in bags strapped to her shoulders. Inside a tiny bag in front of her, she carries her baby.

Little by little, mothers and their children emerge as she did. It’s estimated that 1,500 refugees come to the Dadaab refugee camp every day. Many of them have walked more than 100 miles from Somalia to Kenya, driven from their homes by drought, hunger, and conflict. They are walking to food and to freedom.
We drive out to chronicle the last 10 miles of that impossible journey, and it is not lost on me that we have an engine and wheels. In many cases, these refugees have only their bare feet. We spot families dragging their belongings, and there are animal carcasses lining the road. It is their livestock lost along the way. For so many of the refugees, this is the least of their loss. Later, at the desert’s edge, we discover freshly dug graves covered in dirt. These are the loved ones who didn’t survive the journey.

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