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Sahel food crisis

Sahel food crisis | Global education = global understanding | Scoop.it
The hunger crisis in the Sahel region of Senegal, Mauritania, Mali, Burkina Faso, Niger and Chad has been deepening since the start of this year.

 

The Sahel is a classic transition zone--a border that is not a sharp division, but a gradual shift from one region to the next.  This area has environmentally marginal lands, but is as population pressures continue, marginal lands need to sustain more people. 


Via Seth Dixon
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Lauren Stahowiak's curator insight, March 26, 3:25 PM

With an ongoing hunger crisis in the Sahel, areas such as Chad, Niger and Mali find it hard to make ends meet. These areas in the Sahel are not having the best of luck with their crops this year. Areas suffer from infestation of locusts, drought, and high food prices. Over 13 million people are affected and could suffer from hunger.

Kaitlin Young's curator insight, November 22, 2:41 PM

This map presents the struggles being faced by those living in the Sahel region during their major food crisis. The Sahel region is a transition zone separating Northern Africa from Central and Southern Africa by a dry, harsh landscape. Besides acting as just a physical divide, it also divides the Arabic and Islamic northern region from the southern and central regions and their differing religions and languages. While the Sahel region is historically very dry, droughts have become more and more common. The people living in the Sahel can no longer depend on the land for food and have turned to aid in order to stay alive. As an area of increased desertification, many are worried that climate change will make this region unlivable, thus uprooting different peoples and causing strife in other regions. 

Michael Mazo's curator insight, December 15, 1:44 PM

The Sahel is a region that lies basically in the middle of Africa and extend from West to East. It represents the boarder between the desert and the savannah. Having a semi-arid climate this region is not the most ideal place for living conditions. This comes in part because Africa is so large that the transport of goods and travel is almost impossible without the use of motor vehicles and access to the coast. Taking this into account one might predict severe hunger in areas of the Sahel, especially those that lie in the middle. As the population continues to rise, the shortage of food continues to take a toll on the local communities. Aside from food, proper healthcare is also needed to prevent lethal diseases from spreading

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Internat'l agreement to end child soldiers

With #stopkony trending on twitter, there is growing interest in the concept of child soldiers.  This is a great video to discuss the issue beyond Central Africa and other international efforts to end the use of child soldiers. 


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Uganda: Nodding disease baffles experts

Uganda: Nodding disease baffles experts | Global education = global understanding | Scoop.it

Here in a hot, dusty part of northern Uganda, children are falling victim to a mysterious disease that has confounded health officials.

It’s known loosely as “nodding disease” and almost every family in the village we’ve come to see in Pader District has at least one child suffering from it...


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Invisible Children: Kony 2012

KONY 2012 is a film and campaign by Invisible Children that aims to make Joseph Kony famous, not to celebrate him, but to raise support for his arrest and set a precedent for international justice.

 

This needs to be included for many reasons.  1) The geopolitical problem of child soldiers and endemic warfare in Sub-Saharan Africa needs to be analyzed from a spatial and geographic perspective.  2) The social media aspects of this campaign highlight many of the traits of globalization and is a major online movement right now. 3) This would be a perfect opportunity to have a political activist moment in your class (seriously, who isn't opposed to mass murder?).  4) We can teach our classes that geographers are not just going to learn about all the crap that is wrong with our Earth...we are going to fix it and use our resources to improve the human condition. 

 

For a cultural analysis of the this video, see this NPR article. Yes the video is filled with oversimplifications and a poor cultural lens, but it has started a conversation and a conversation with students that I feel is worth having.

http://www.npr.org/blogs/thetwo-way/2012/03/08/148235430/while-controversial-kony-2012-has-put-focus-on-atrocities

 

The site mentioned in the video is:  http://www.invisiblechildren.com

 

For my cultural musings on the video, see the comments section. 

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Maegan Connor's curator insight, December 17, 2013 8:22 PM

I was really glad to find this video on Professor Dixon's scoop it page because even after all that happened concerning the facts behind the video, it was still a very important part of 2012.  This video was not truthful as many later discovered and the man who led the movement was later arrested for indecency, bashing some of his credibility, but this video still drew uncountable amounts of attention to the poor people of Africa and the genocide and suffering of child soldiers. 

It is important for people to be aware of the problems in other parts of the world, especially senseless violence that has taken place in several African countries so this video did the world a service by alerting teens and adults to the horrors that take place on a continent that looks hopeless to the foreign eye.

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West Africa: Slavery in the Chocolate Industry

Although slavery is no longer legal there are still millions of people living in slavery today. One place and industry where slaves still exist is the cocoa ...

 

The world's leading producer of cocoa is Côte d'Ivoire and dirty secret is that slavery is commonplace on cocoa plantations in West Africa.    Children are smuggled from countries such as Mali, Niger and Burkina Faso and then are placed on remote, isolated plantations.  While statistics are all guesstimates, this video is purporting that 35% of the world's chocolate is produced by slave labor (I've seen higher estimates).  What factors lead to this horrific condition?  How is this a geographic issue?    


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Beth Jung's curator insight, February 9, 8:26 AM

This article is about children trafficking and child labor in West Africa. The director of this documentary is trying to tell people around the world that almost all famous chocolate factories such as Snickers, Nestle, etc, use cocoa from the cocoa plantations in Ivory Coast that use child labor to make as much chocolate they can with the least amount of money used. There are serious issues going on in West Africa, because most cocoa plantation workers are children who were smuggled around many countries such as Mali, Niger, and Burkina Faso and were separated to isolated plantations. People who are working in the Cocoa Industry have all denied the fact that the children are working in the plantation; Even the Vice President of Ivory Coast denied the fact of children trafficking. Also, all the famous chocolate factories had declined the interview for this documentary. A lot of people around the village have helped the captured children escape back to their home, saving more than a hundred children. This article helped me understand more about Africa's bad economy. By using child trafficking, people get free workers as well as sell children; 230 Euros each. It costs less to buy children than to pay the workers. This article made me realize that the only way I could help the African children is to spread the awareness to the whole wide world. This article also made me want to go to Ivory Coast when I get older. Children Trafficking hurts my loving heart and I would go to Ivory Coast and help children go back to their home.

Samuel D'Amore's curator insight, December 17, 12:38 AM

Its both sad and horrific to think that chocolate, such a pleasure and luxury item in the west comes as such a high cost. It's so sad that so many people are oppressed and used in situations such as this just so those living in places of plenty can enjoy resources like chocolate. Unfortunately it seems for the few to benefit many more have to suffer and endure hardships.  

John Nieuwendyk's curator insight, December 17, 5:03 PM

I was not aware that slavery is still not unusual in cocoa plantation in West Africa. It sickens me because nations all around the world consume chocolate produced under slave labor. 

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Globalization: Intertwined Economies & Environments

Globalization: Intertwined Economies & Environments | Global education = global understanding | Scoop.it
The technology in smartphones and laptops includes minerals mined in areas of Africa riven by warfare. But fighting back does not mean giving up technology, reports Kate Dailey.

 

This article, titled, "How to offset your 'conflict mineral' guilt," drives home the interconnectedness of the modern globalized world.  While no one would be in favor of slave labor in mines that support African warlords, the production process to make cell phones, laptops and just about any portable electronic device are dependent of the raw material coming out of mines in Eastern Congo under these conditions.  

 

So what is a consumer to do?  This article outlines some ideas for people to be social advocates to change the geographies of their commodities without completely separating themselves from the modern world.  For more on the U.S. law for corporate disclosure of 'conflict minerals' in their products, see: http://www.treehugger.com/corporate-responsibility/new-us-law-requires-electronics-makers-to-disclose-conflict-mineral-use.html


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