According to the British Red Cross, the unfolding catastrophe in the Lake Chad region is affecting 9.2 million people across Nigeria, Niger, Chad and Cameroon. The crisis is a result of a combination of populations displaced by conflict, drought and government security policies that have restricted the ability of local people to grow food.
Many people are surviving on one meal per day (if that), but what those means consist of falls a long way short of western norms.
Photographer Chris de Bode has brought home the scale of the hardship being endured by local people via a set of simple images. Using an ‘igloo studio’ in the field, de Bode shot food items and meals. “I was inspired by Instagram food bloggers,” he says. “I was humbled by the pride people took in preparing their food and their heart-breaking daily fight just to survive. While we are all connected through our need for food to survive, it can sometimes be difficult for people to engage with crises in other parts of the world. I wanted to tell their stories in a different way and illustrate the idea of what one meal a day really looks like.”
A public exhibition of the images, One Meal a Day: the Lake Chad crisis in pictures, will be at the courtyard at St Martin-in-the-Fields, London WC2, from May 22 – June 12. The British Red Cross Lake Chad Crisis Appeal page can be found here