Nightly News | August 03, 2011
BRIAN WILLIAMS, anchor: Now to our ongoing coverage of the largest human tragedy on Earth right now, the drought and growing famine in the Horn of Africa , especially Somalia , where three more regions were officially designated famine zones just today. This disaster has triggered a tide of refugees and of people responding to help. NBC 's Kate Snow is covering this story from Dadaab in Kenya .
KATE SNOW reporting: It is an unforgiving place, the barren land where 70-year-old Halima Hussein Ahamad built this hut herself. Every night she worries about her seven grandkids. Every morning she sees footprints. You're worried about hyenas, lions. Last night, Yaro Yakub heard a thief approaching his precious food supply.
Mr. YARO YAKUB:
SNOW: 'I chased him off with a stick,' he tells me. It is life on the fringe. This is the outer most edge of one of the camps, and out that way, 60 miles of nothingness, all the way to the Somalia border. The UN is struggling to move refugees out of this area to safer settlements, giving out firewood so women and children won't have to roam the desert. Sanwani Salaad Subdu 's little girls tell me they're happy they don't have chores like that any more. They come from a part of Somalia controlled by the militant Islamic group al-Shabaab . Subdu says men with guns threatened to kill him if he tried to leave for Kenya , so they fled in the middle of the night .
Mr. SANWANI SALAAD SUBDU:
SNOW: The first thing they did was they looted our property and stole our animals and took our farms, he says. Inside Somalia , only a small trickle of aid is allowed in by al-Shabaab . Mogadishu 's government-controlled hospital is packed. Back in Kenya , the director of this hospital says one of the hardest things is convincing parents who have never seen an IV to trust the doctors. This ward is filled with children who have just started to respond to treatment. Ibrahim sometimes has nightmares about them.
IBRAHIM (Doctors Without Borders): How could they be the following day?
SNOW: How will they be tomorrow?
IBRAHIM: How will they be tomorrow? How many am I expecting tomorrow?
SNOW: But saving a child like Lulu Ali is what keeps the staff going. She may be tiny, but her dad says his four-year-old is looking much better. Kate Snow , NBC News, Dadaab, Kenya .