A drought, not seen in 60 years, compounded with near complete lawlessness and utter disregard for human life has made it so.
American idol creator Simon Fuller, Island Records founder Chris Blackwell and The Bob Marley estate globally released a new video on Tuesday for Bob Marley & The Wailers’ 1973 song “Hide Tide Or Low Tide.”
The video shows the East Africa crisis that is affecting more than 9 million people dying of starvation.
Edited by Kevin Macdonald, director of “Last King Of Scotland” and the forthcoming “Marley” documentary, the “Hide Tide Or Low Tide” video includes recent footage of expressionless mothers caring for their children, oblivious toddlers playing amidst skeletons of wildlife, and numerous frail, sick babies.
In one of the more poignant images, a mother draws a bucket from a well only to find it filled with dirt and not one drop of water.
The “High Tide Or Low Tide” lyrics still provoke chills nearly 40 years after the song’s debut. Marley, a late icon, who used his music to encourage social change, sings about one of his mother’s prayers.
“A child is born in this world, he needs protection,” Marley sings, quoting his mother. During the song’s chorus, he pledges unconditional friendship: “In high seas or-a low seas, I’m gonna be your friend”.
FAMINE IN AFRICA
For the first time since 1980’s, the United Nations (UN) has declared a famine in Africa. According to estimates more than 12 million people in the Horn of Africa need urgent help; tens of thousands have already died and hundreds of thousands more risk starvations.
The epicentre of the famine is in Somalia where more than 30,000 children under the age of five have been killed in the last 90 days. A severe drought is seen as the main cause of this tragedy.
The picture is getting murkier by the day as the drought, which is the main cause of the tragedy, is spreading to other regions as well. Not to forget insurgent groups such as the Shabab, who have pledged allegiance to the Al Qaeda, stopping people from fleeing the country and depriving victims of much needed food.
Several aid groups are trying to airlift emergency food. But the famine hit southern part of Somalia has been seen as a dangerous zone, which has claimed the lives of peace keepers and soldiers for years.
While an exceptionally severe drought may be the main cause of this tragedy, it is also a catastrophic breakdown of the world’s collective responsibility as the warning signs have been seen for months and the world has been slow to act.
Several celebrities including Lady Gaga, Beckhams and Justin Bieber are supporting the initiative and are encouraging their fans to watch the video and donate.
The innovative viral campaign with the incredible power and reach of social networks is expected to help tackle the first famine of the 21st century.
Go to ImGonnaBeYourFriend.org to make a donation.