The UN FAO have declared the need for URGENT support in areas of West Africa due to a severe food shortage.The Gambia is one of the smallest countries in Africa, surrounded on three sides by Senegal, and poverty is widespread.
Due to poor and unpredictable rain patterns in 2011 the harvest was extremely poor. and umerous families are facing severe malnutrition and possible starvation.Urgent action is required to prevent a full-scale food and nutrition crisis.
The Gambia Horse and Donkey Trust (GHDT) is a small UK based charity working in The Gambia to reduce rural poverty through improving the health and welfare of working equines.
Spokeswoman from GHDTsays “Farming communities of Gambia are facing real difficulties, and when the people suffer the animals suffer too.To prevent the crisis from worsening it is essential that we keep the animals healthy, so that they’re able to work when the rains start again this year. If the present situation continues, the animals that survive will be in such poor condition from starvation they will be unable to work, thus creating a downward spiral. The animals are essential to the livelihoods of Gambian farmers – without them the farmers are unable to carry out their farming duties.”
We are currently consulting with Gambian Authorities and other experts to find the best way to help alleviate the problems. This may involve shipping fodder for the animals in the worst hit areas as a stop gap until the rains fall and the grass begins to grow. We are urging people to help in any way that you can. If you are able to make a donation to GHDT, however small or large, please do. We really do desperately need your help to enable us to help the farming families in The Gambia through this very difficult time of crisis.
* If you are in the UK, text GHDT01 £10 (or £1, £2, £5, £8) to 70070 – all the money you donate goes to us for the simple cost of a text message
* Donate items of unwanted tack. Please see website for further details.
For further information about the work of the Gambia Horse and Donkey Trust please visit the website: www.gambiahorseanddonkey.org.uk