World Hunger

World Hunger
My name is not important, but for the purpose of this paper, and to give a more personal perspective, you can call me Kumi. I am eighteen years old and live in a little village in Ethiopia. My living conditions are far from adequate, and my only memories of childhood are hunger and disease. Health problems around my village arise from poor hygiene, sanitation, and scarcity of water.
I am hungry, so hungry everyday that I must force myself to stand up to find food. On a good day I will have a breakfast consisting of small portion of bean mush, and maybe a small piece of bread. Not even enough to stop the hunger pains that I have grown so accustomed to. But that would be a good day. I live with my mother and father, and we are all farmers. We work the lands near are village, and the crops we grow are our main source of income. Most days for me start out at the first sign of light without anything to eat, going to work in the fields. All day long I spend hungry and tired harvesting Tef, the grain that makes Engira. After the long exhausting day of work, with maybe a snack of roots, or cassava, and a sip of water, its home for dinner. Meat would by no means be found in my diet. Dinner would on average be little portions, mostly of roots weeds and beans, just enough to leave me hungry enough to pass out. Sometimes our village gets aid from the government, but because I am a male of an old enough age, they say I am able to feed myself.

My daily activity is to find food to eat. I find myself so tired and hungry that it is hard to gather the strength to work or find food. Lacking proper vitamins I have trouble finding myself able to do anything besides sit and be hungry. My entire village suffers from many problems with health and healthcare, and the children of the village suffer greatly from these problems. These living conditions are not an ideal environment for Ethiopian children. The government tries to improve children?s lives, but the children continue to face many problems. I see in my village the young children suffering from bacteria infections from lack of food, scavys, and other avoidable problems, because they lack food, or sanitized water to drink. As you read this children in my village suffer from typhoid, cholera and malaria, all water-borne diseases. The children diets lack important vitamins such as iodine and vitamin A, which extremely retards their physical and mental growth. Poverty is another factor in poor health and health care. Poverty leads to poor parental care, unsanitary housing conditions and higher rates of respiratory and other infections. My village is plagued with undernutrition, which can be easily avoided.

In my village there are many factors that cause my people and I to suffer from undernutrition. Several reasons are from our physical environment. The climate in my village has a severe impact on our nutrition. My village has a horrible history of extreme droughts. Sometimes the droughts are so bad that it is to dry to grow crops, which our primary source of food. The best time to avoid the drought is during are rainy season, which is distinctly from April to September. When the land is not ruined by the climate it is still hard to grow crops. When we can farm there is not enough land. The farmable land around my village is not nearly enough to produce food for everyone who lives here. And there is hardly any water to make the food grow, or for us to drink. We are drilling borehole wells where water shortage is critical to improve hygiene and sanitation. There are also other factors, which cause us undernutrtion, such as our poverty stricken economy, culture, and politics.

We do not have a good economy. All of us are poor farmers, agriculture accounts for half of gdp, 60% of exports, and 80% of total employment. Our agricultural sector suffers from frequent drought and poor cultivation practices. To gain income we farm, but with bad weather we cant farm. If we don?t sell food we cant afford to buy different foods to change our diet and get the essential vitamins that we need. When we go to sell our crops it can be hard. The culture of my village is exceptionally diverse. In the market place there are many people, and many different languages. In Ethiopia there are about 80 different languages in all. Communicating in the market is difficult, and therefore it makes selling our crops a problem. When the crops aren?t selling we have an even harder way of getting food. Sometimes people in the village are given food, but there is not enough to be distributed evenly. Since the government decides who gets the food I get none because of my age. Which is a disparity that I have to deal with, and find my own food.

Another issue that contributes to the hunger problem is with gender variations. In my village it is evident that there is a strong cultural preference for sons usually having a greater gender inequality. The main ways in which children spend their time, and the amount of resources to which they have access, are determined by the households in which they live. The females usually have life a little harder than the males, because there lives are dedicated to work and household activities. The males in the village are given more opportunities, and low-weight-for age and low-height-for age is noticed more in the females. So many, in my village, are hungry and sick with typhoid, and cholera, that they are incapable of feeding themselves. We try to help them by sharing what little we have but they need more, such as medications and vitamins that they are unable to obtain.

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