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Thursday, July 28, 2011

Local Members of Somali Community on Drought Crisis

Terror threats are coming at a very difficult time for millions of Somali people. That country, as well as other parts of east Africa are dealing with the worst drought crisis in decades.

And neither the country's government nor aid agencies can fully operate in some areas, because they're controlled by militants connected to Al Qaida. Even so, some local Somalis are doing everything they can to help.

"I have family over there and I contact (them) all the time..." said Omar Hassan of Rochester.

Omar Hassan of Rochester says things have never been worse in Somalia than they are right now. The reasons: two decades of civil war, three years of drought, and the terrorist group Al Shebab which he says controls nearly 80 percent of the country. He says the best he and other members of the local Somali community can do is send money.

"80 percent of what we're sending right now is money," he said. "Because it's the easiest and the quickest way to reach those people."

However, Hassans two sons have even taken to Youtube asking for help. They posted this video on Tuesday.

"You guys gotta donate food. $1 can make a difference," they say. "There's thousands of people dying in Somalia each day..." "Please speak awareness. Help Africa and especially Somalia."

Meanwhile, other local Somalis like, Abdiaziz Maahaay, are collecting food. He's headed to Somali next week, along with a cargo container full of food. He believes the best course of action is to try and rehabilitate the 3 million Somalis currently dying of starvation.

"You can not talk about peace if you don't have plate to eat. You can not talk about anything before you have satisfaction for your stomach because you have every day to burn calorie. And you don't even have the calorie," said Maahaay. "What are you going to say? Nothing at all."

But Hassan says the problems won't go away until his native country somehow finds the peace that has eluded it for the past 20 years.

"I mean that's the only way you can sleep (at) night time. That's the only way you can get up in the morning and get something to feed your family," he said. "So we need peace."

The two men hope the rest of the world starts to pay closer attention to what's happening in Somali. And they're asking for help of every kind, from monetary donations to transportation to missionaries. We have for the Somali American Health Care Foundation here on our website. Just click on featured links underneath the news tab.

Source: ABC 6 News

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