Ethiopia is currently experiencing the worst drought to ever hit its soil in 50 years. The drought which is caused by the current El Niño phenomenon has left Ethiopians hungry and in need of food aid.
Most of Ethiopia’s population, more than 83 per cent live in rural areas. In these areas, the families are more into farming, growing enough to feed their families. When the drought which is caused by the El Niño phenomenon strikes, it becomes incredibly difficult to source for food.
The El Niño is an abnormal weather condition that is caused by the warming of the Pacific Ocean and when the warm water from the western part of this ocean flows eastward.
In time past, when drought hits the land, the people simply migrate to a less affected area. However, with population increase and a move towards commercial farming in recent years, these sites are usually inaccessible when the drought assails.
With nowhere to move to, these families usually have to sell their properties and even skip meals to survive. This in turn leaves them not only poor but unhealthy.
Although food aid is being supplied to these countries, the aid agencies have warned that there’s a shortage on the supply of food and these supplies could run out by May.
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A farmer from the highlands of East Hararghe told The Washington post that, “I remember 1984, people would migrate or just die… this time, the government response is on time and coming before people leave.”
On the possibility of surviving another month if there isn’t an increase in food aid he said, “If there was no support and the rains don’t come, people will start dying.”
Some agencies have also described the current drought in Ethiopia to be worse than the 1984 famine which lasted for years and killed 1 million people, with an additional 8 million prone to death.
Although, it would ease our minds to believe that likening the current drought in Ethiopia to the 1984 predicament is an exaggeration, it doesn’t change the fact that Ethiopians are in need of aid.
To learn more on Ethiopia’s current crisis and how you can help, visit here.