Henry Makiwa

Posts by Henry Makiwa:

West Africa: stemming off hunger with a timely gardening project

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This is a guest post by Henry Makiwa, British Red Cross senior media relations officer, who recently went to Burkina Faso. There, he saw how Red Cross gardening projects are helping people attain a more nutritious diet.

 

Women and children from the village take turns to tend the vegetables

© Sarah Oughton/ IFRC

The plants tell the real story of what’s happening in west Africa.

The sight of acacia trees, thorny shrubs and giant baobab trees on the arid plains of north-west Burkina Faso take me back to GCSE Geography, when I learned that these trees can withstand the driest weather cycles in some of the most arid places on earth.

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West Africa: refugee influx increases pressure on scarce resources

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This is a guest post by Henry Makiwa, British Red Cross senior media relations officer, who recently went to Burkina Faso. There, he discovered the difficulties that Malian refugees and Burkina Faso communities face, sharing what scarce resources are left.

Water is scarce at Fererio refugee camp

© Henry Makiwa/ BRC

The journey starts outside the beige ceramic walls of a Burkinabe hotel.

It is 6:30 am and most housewives in Ouagadougou have long finished sweeping their yards, leaving thin curtains of misty-brown dust to hang in the air. We troop into two 4×4 Toyota Land Cruiser vehicles to take on the interminable and rugged, mostly-gravel road that leads to Fererio Refugee camp, some 400 kilometres north-west of Burkina Faso’s capital, Ouagadougou.

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Helping protect vulnerable children in west Africa

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This is a guest post by Henry Makiwa, British Red Cross senior media relations officer, who recently went to Burkina Faso.

Salamata Ali with her youngest son outside the nutritional screening clinic where she volunteers

© IFRC/ Faye Callaghan

According to the UN, at least 1 million children are at risk of the most severe form of malnutrition across the Sahel. Almost twice as many are at risk of malnutrition if strong action is not taken now.

This situation in Burkina Faso is most critical along the border areas that separate Burkina Faso and Mali.

“We have an ongoing problem with malnutrition in this part of the country,” Dr Kdonia Anicet, a paediatrician at Djibo hospital, a twenty-minute drive from the border with Mali, says.

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Two months on: Sorhow’s family on their last bowl of rice

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The last bowl of rice in Sorhow's house

This is a guest post by Henry Makiwa, British Red Cross senior media relations officer, who recently went to Burkina Faso. There, he revisited Sorhow Mohamed. Two months ago, Sorhow’s family was already struggling for food – now they have almost run out.

It’s high noon in Tin Akoff village in north-west Burkina Faso. Temperatures are shaving 50 degrees celsius on the thermometer. Not a cloud hangs in the skies, not a bird dares to come out, and scatterings of cattle and goats hide in the shade of leafless trees.

Everything here is serene and quiet, except for some hushed chatter of two sisters who watch over a feeding toddler – while shooing off a troublesome goat that’s constantly attempting to eat from the same bowl as the minor.

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West Africa food crisis: A dire situation needing urgent response

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This is a guest post by Henry Makiwa, British Red Cross senior media relations officer, who visited Burkina Faso last week.

My earliest memory of a drought goes back to 1990 – 91 as young lad growing up in the Zimbabwean countryside. I remember noticing the gradual dropping of water levels in the local lake where we used to fish and speedboat with my brothers on weekends.

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