8 February 2016
Large-scale drought is having a devastating effect on millions in Ethiopia – and the situation is set to worsen.
A field where crops have failed
Ethiopia is suffering its worst drought in 30 years.
More than 10 million people are at risk.
Farmers’ harvests have failed, and their livestock are badly affected. Thousands of cows and goats have died.
The situation is critical.
We’ve made £50,000 of emergency funds available to help communities who’ve been hit hardest by the drought.
Some of this money will go towards our partner HUNDEE’s school meals programme. It will support more than 4,000 children who currently don’t have enough food to eat even one meal a day.
We’re making sure that more than 700 children in two more schools have access to safe drinking water.
And we aim to distribute drought-resistant seeds urgently, so that farmers have crops to harvest again soon.
What caused the crisis?
The drought has been caused by the El Niño weather phenomenon, which triggered dry spells during 2015 leading to water shortages and crop failures in large parts of the country.
Maurice Onyango, Christian Aid’s Head of Humanitarian Programmes in Africa, says: ‘The scale of the crisis is unprecedented. Most part of Ethiopia has been affected by drought, threatening lives and livelihoods.
‘Farmers haven’t been able to produce any harvests over two consecutive planting seasons. Ground-water and river levels have decreased. Meanwhile, farmers are running short of fodder for cattle: we have seen thousands of livestock die in rural areas.
‘Weather forecasts indicate that the El Niño effect will continue until the middle of 2016, so it’s imperative that we act now.’
Mohamed Adam Dolal, Ethiopia, November 2015
Mohamed Adam Dolal planted and replanted seeds during the two seasons, but the seeds simply wouldn’t grow enough to produce crops.
'Throughout my life in this village, I’ve seen some seasons where we’ve had short rains, but we’ve always been able to grow something.
'This time we sowed three times and the crops failed three times. Never in my time has this happened… I don’t have enough money to feed my family.'
Aliji Mohamed, Ethiopia, December 2015
Aliji Mohamed has had to sell some of his cattle and goats to feed his family, but ‘it’s not enough for food let alone clothes’.
The animals he has left are in poor health, and some are dying.
The Ethiopian Government has already started providing emergency support throughout the country, and is helping families through much needed food relief.
'The government is really supportive. If it wasn’t for the government food aid, I couldn’t survive', says Mohamed Adam Dolal.
What you can do
Please donate to our emergencies fund, so we can continue to help families who are suffering as a result of extreme weather and natural disasters.
Photo credit: Pete Crawford