Two months into what should be the current rainy season it is still dry. If the rains don’t come it will be the fourth consecutive failed season compounding food and fuel price rises because of the war in Ukraine.
The World Food Programme (WFP) says with crops continuing to fail and livestock being wiped out, an estimated 7.2 million people wake up hungry every day in southern and south-eastern Ethiopia.
Time is fast running out for Guyo and other families who are struggling to survive.
“My biggest fear is that once all our livestock are dead, next it will be the women and children. Our community is malnourished already, death is not far away. We have lived here for centuries and have weathered droughts before, but this is different, this feels unnatural. Climate change is killing us,” Guyo said.
Trócaire, in partnership with Community Initiatives Facilitation and Assistance (CIFA) and CST, (the three catholic humanitarian agencies CAFOD, SCIAF, and Trocaire), have been working with Guyo and his community in the Borena zone to help reduce poverty and improve the economic opportunities of 5,351 women and young people over three years. The programme received funding from Jersey Overseas Aid.
“Trócaire helped us to fence off large areas of pastoral land to stop animals from grazing there and to allow the grass to grow so that we can harvest it for future use. We were also supported to clear the pastoral land of all bushes to prepare for grass growth. We were paid by CIFA/CST/Trócaire for our labour too. I think we cleared between 300 to 400 hectares in two months. The temperature was around 40 degrees, but we knew it had to be done for our future survival.”
Guyo thanked the people of Ireland for their continued support.
“Please stand by us during this unprecedented time. We will do whatever is in our power to survive, but I fear it is no longer enough.”