Poorer then his ancesters had ever been
If the family is to eat today, Omum needs money to get two malwas of sorghum ground. (1 malwa is 3.5 kg). Her husband, Mohamed Khamis, does not have that much money and is thinking, once again, about the challenge to feed the children he has so much desired. This morning he will need to borrow to feed them.
During the dry season he has become a carpenter and makes beds that he sells at the market. Yesterday’s small market day in the village of Iajeree was bad and he did not sell one beds. The villagers say Mohamed Khamis is a very good carpenter. He builds the beds during these “months of doing nothing” as he calls the lean season from January to April, when everyone waits for the rains to fall and there are no job opportunities. But during these months no one has money to buy his beds.
The rest of the year, after having helped his wife and children do the planting, Mohamed Khamis goes in search of work on other farms.
Mohamed Khamis grazed cattle when he was young and his father had up to 200 animals. Now, with two goats and one donkey, Mohamed Khamis is poorer then his ancesters had ever been. Furthermore, with the drought coming back year-after-year for the last 14 years in northern Sudan there is little hope that Mohamed Khamis or his sons will ever ever feed as many cattle again as did his father.