Tuesday, February 21, 2006

Season of Death

John Donnelly of the Boston Globe deserves praise for venturing to the far corners of desolate, dangerous Somalia to warn us of a growing humanitarian crisis of biblical proportions. Donnelly's "Drought Imperils Horn of Africa" describes how a devastating dry spell in vast sections of East Africa is the worst in a decade, and in some areas the worst in 40 years. He uses telling details to show the heart-breaking human side of this story, such as how the desperate women in the village of Goobato rise at 2 a.m. to trek 10 miles to the closest water source, a round-trip journey that takes seven hours. I tip my hat to Donnelly and the other reporters in Africa who persist in sharing the stories of people who much of the rest of the world tries to forget.

1 Comments:

Blogger Jon Marshall said...

Here's a comment that John Donnelly sent me in response to the NewsGems posting about his story:

"My only quibble with my entry is that it's too bad that Somalia is
always portrayed as a dangerous trip; I think that keeps many journalists from going. There are clear dangers -- a BBC journalist was shot dead in Mogadishu -- but there also are many things that a journalist can do to try to minimize the risk. I traveled with various UN agencies for seven days in Somalia (two to the drought region), which meant I had a built-in security force, i.e., two armed gunmen always traveling in my convoy. I also had a 6 p.m. curfew, except for the night I was invited to a wedding! (I went;
the guards waited outside) And everywhere I went -- I traveled to Merca, Wajid, and Jowhar -- UN security kindly gave me a briefing on recent trouble in their region.

All that said, I really appreciate that you included my story.

11:55 AM  

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