Video: Somalis facing famine, cholera struggle to survive
Transcript of: Somalis facing famine, cholera struggle to survive
BRIAN WILLIAMS, anchor: Now we turn to the crisis in the Horn of Africa , the famine, the drought, now an epidemic of cholera raging through Somalia . Ann Curry is there tonight in the capital city of Mogadishu and has more on the millions of people who are fighting for their lives and against the forces trying to keep the most basic help, food, from women and children who need it so desperately.
ANN CURRY reporting: For millions of people, Mogadishu 's front line separates hope from despair. In recent days, African Union peacekeepers say they are winning this battle-scarred city, seizing territory from the al-Qaeda supported forces of al-Shabaab . Some of the fiercest battles were fought over this high ground, from which African Union soldiers can see over a wide area to keep al-Shabaab pushed back. Just yesterday the peacekeepers also scored another critical victory, taking an al-Shabaab bomb factory. As our cameras were given the first glimpse inside, munitions experts were still making the facility safe, collecting evidence to be processed by the FBI . Hand grenades .
Unidentified Soldier: Yep.
CURRY: IEDs. All for improvised bombs, potentially deadly to peacekeepers and civilians. As the peacekeepers gain new territory, they are making it possible for aid workers to reach more people in need. Mogadishu 's central hospital is overwhelmed with victims of the famine. One-year-old Fatima 's life hangs in the balance. Her mother says she and her husband walked eight days with their five children to flee al-Shabaab terror. Millions of children like Fatima are at risk of dying from hunger in the region, many of them unreachable in al-Shabaab strongholds. This little boy, covered with a blanket, died Sunday of malnutrition and disease. Over the weekend, a cholera epidemic was declared, too. Zeinab and Abdi lost their eight-year-old son to cholera and hunger. 'My son was my world,' she told us. 'I am destroyed.' After walking nine days to Mogadishu , another son, a two-year-old, weighed just six pounds, but doctors now say he will live. For this family, a future in a country where so many have none. Ann Curry , NBC News, Mogadishu .