In exchange for the familiar blue and white on the Somalian flag, those who once viewed the colors and rejoiced in the celebration of their nation now look up at the blue and white sky asking why such devastation has come upon them.
By this time, hopefully you are all aware of the crisis that has come upon the land of Somalia and surrounding areas in the horn of Africa. The area is suffering from record-breaking catastrophe but the effects are particularly breath taking in Somalia. As of last two week, News One reported that “the drought and famine in Somalia have killed more than 29,000 children under the age of 5.” News One also reports that an estimation of tens of thousands of people have died in the drought, and this is the worst one Somalia has faced in 60 years.
What hope is there for our people in Somalia? How can we aid and assist our brothers and sisters in need? Many people are convinced that they know the answer, but the real solution to the problem is hidden under piles of shallow predicaments that deviate our attention from the underlying issue at hand.
Famine, starvation, dehydration and malnourishment are not the problem we are witnessing in Somalia. Yes people are suffering from these tragedies and yes death has encountered those who are without immediate solution to these hardships, but these misfortunes are not what’s killing people. They may seem to be the obvious cause of the situation we see in east Africa, they may seem to be the only factors that need repair but this is not the case. Solving these issues would be providing superficial solutions to an internal wound that for so long has been in desperate need of adequate care.
Imagine the circumstances of famine and drought in Somalia to be the resulting consequences of a beating that the land has taken for years. The land is bruised, bashed and damaged. The people are tired, worn-out and exasperated. The signs of this abuse have finally emerged to showcase to the world the conditions that Somalia has been enduring for all this time. Imagine the country of Somalia bleeding drops of dying children, broken families, hunger, trouble and heartache.
Now imagine someone thinking that simply placing a band-aid on the wound will suffice and cure that hurt. Imagine them thinking all they have to do is wipe up the mess, place basic bandage on the wound and feed Somalia temporary crumbs of comfort and satisfaction. This is not enough. As we witness these signs that demand our attention, we must embark on a thorough search for the cause of the problem and solve it once found.
Many people have been distracted by images of desperate children and forsaken women, but we must realize that these images represent the surface issue rooting from the main problem of the neglect shown by the Somalian government and it’s failure to provide peace, civil rest, and economic stability for it’s people.
What will become of Somalia when the news channels find another story to focus on? What will become of it’s people when the water canisters have run dry and the last free meal has been served?
The media hype and the overwhelming response from the world will only last so long. Something must be addressed and adjusted in the infrastructure of the Somalian government and economy to provide a solution that promises longevity. Despite the current conditions, Somalians have shown their resilience and have still found something to smile about. They are tested, but not defeated. But how long can a smile last if there is no guarantee for a better tomorrow? How long will a smile be held if nothing is being done to maintain that hope?
The wounds that have been inflicted upon Somalia must be tended to with more than temporary aid that can only last a limited time. A solution that promises durability similar to the endurance shown by the Somalian people must be sought after to ensure the necessary repairs Somalia is seeking.