I have reported in previous blogs about the drought crisis facing Ethiopia today. The numbers continue to add up:
Over 400 rural districts (woredas) affected.
- 1 million affected so far and 1 million in January 2016 alone
- 400,000 severely malnourished
- 7 million moderately malnourished
- 0 million without safe drinking water
- 800,000 displaced
- 400,000 livestock deaths
.“The people of this beautiful country are facing their worst drought in 30 years,” United Nations Secretary General Ban Ki-Moon said from Ethiopia during a visit with representatives of the United Nations World Food Programme.
“The impact of El Niño is unpredictable, but experts say it is likely to affect food security for the next two years,” he said. (Ki-Moon Quotes from CFGB)
The Ethiopian government is responding as much as it is able, trying to mitigate the results, but US$1.4 billion in international aid is still required.
During our recent visit to Ethiopia as part of CLWR’s Global Encounter, it was obvious that the various CLWR program partnerships are making a difference for large numbers of people by providing the infrastructure to make the best use of the small amounts of precipitation to bring about abundant crops.
Here is what one of the participants, Rev. Doug Reble, wrote in the Eastern Synod Lutheran:
“Here is some of what we saw : Working with our partners, CLWR is helping to diversify the pastoral livelihoods of target groups in a sustainable way thereby contributing to the enhancement and attainment of food security for the most vulnerable; natural resource conservation practices are being promoted and
taught; irrigation schemes are being developed; trees are being planted; farmers, women as well as men, are being trained in best nutrition practices; how to conduct dairy farming and artificial insemination so herds can be increased and excess product sold to benefit the community. I continue to marvel how just a little bit of water well-directed can produce abundant crops of carrots, tomatoes, potatoes, Swiss chard, garlic, peppers, papaya, apples and so much more.
Let me repeat. CLWR is making a difference, a positive difference, a life-changing difference. That’s what we went to see and experience and we most certainly did. The vision of Canadian Lutheran World Relief is to work for a “world where people live in justice, peace, and dignity, united in diversity, and empowered to achieve their universal rights to basic needs and quality of life.” Your prayers and financial gifts allow this to happen. I have seen it firsthand. May they continue. Together, we can make a difference, In the name of the God who loves us all.”
From Hetosa where value is being added to agricultural outputs through processing dairy and vegetable production; to Telalack where small-scale irrigation projects bring great abundance and communities from the area are learning how to help themselves by visiting the demonstration farms; to Lalibella where tree planting is bringing the watershed to life and irrigation and terracing are turning the desert green, CLWR’s partners – LWF-Ethiopia, Canadian Foodgrains Bank and Society for Sustainable Development change lives.
Tom Brook, Community Relations Director