there because they don’t feel well after eating it. They want sorghuminstead.Dr. Aden supports the idea of distributing sorghum instead of rice. In addition to the local population’s preference for sorghum, hesaid, it is a less attractive target for looting than rice, which iswidely consumed elsewhere.Sheik Caliyoow planned to make a direct appeal to relief agenciesin Baidoa.“We don’t need speeches, we need more food,” he said.
“There are no seeds”
In an effort to stop the migration of rural people to Baidoa, theInternational Committee of the Red Cross is staffing relief kitchens inmore remote areas. It operates 22 kitchens in Baidoa and more than 40in the surrounding countryside.A rainy season is approaching in about a month, and a Somaliagronomist said that seeds must be planted within weeks. But there islittle seed available in the Baidoa farming region, where emptyvillages -- and untilled fields cracked like a jigsaw puzzle by drought-- are all too common.A few miles from the roadside burial is a village of thatch hutsknown as Haawen.Its chief, Hassan Abukar Ibrahim, 48, said his village once hadherds of camels and other livestock – “too many to count” -- that wereall stolen by troops loyal to deposed Somali dictator Mohammed SiadBarre.“We are ready to plant,” he said. “But there are no seeds.”Until recently, the village’s population was dispersed more deeplyinto the countryside. A relief worker who passed through Haawen about aweek ago counted 14 people there. Now, several hundred wait for food.The Red Cross set up a kitchen last week that quickly ran out of food when hundreds of hungry people began showing up. A feeding center established by Concern, an Irish group that focuses on savingmalnourished children, continues to operate in Haawen and on Tuesdayfed more than 1,800.