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Battling Droughts

Ethiopia-story-6-1.jpgAfter we left the Abo Yayebena Kebele we headed to Fitche town where we spent the night.

The drive in this area to and from Fitche was beautiful. With rolling hills and mountains and farmer’s fields that looked like patchwork quilts.

This picture below was taken on my phone from the car as we drove by, so doesn’t do the scenery justice.  But no camera would either.  The countryside in this part of Ethiopia is breathtaking.

However, the beauty of this view masks a harsh reality - Ethiopia is in fact battling its worst drought in decades. While you cannot imagine a drought looking at this photo, six regions of Ethiopia are severely affected. The impact of the failed spring rains and weakened summer rains that 80% of the country, still overwhelmingly agricultural in base, depend on for the success of their crops has been devastating.   These delayed rains have caused livestock loss, food insecurity and malnutrition in many parts of Ethiopia, with expectations that the situation will only get worse. The main threat to food production is the drought, but a predicted El Niño event in 2015-2016 can lead to heavy rains and flooding, with climate change making the impact even worse.

Increased agricultural output, proper storage of crops, access to a sustainable water supply, and natural resource management are all prerequisites to a community’s ability to mitigate the effects of a drought, and are all part of CPAR’s programs – which is why our continued work is so important.

Dusanka Pavlica
Executive Director, CPAR