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  Filling the Food Gap in Ethiopia
 작성자 : KAFHI
작성일 : 2014-10-09     조회 : 3,617  


by Kebede Lulie on OCTOBER 9, 2014 in STORIES, WORLD POVERTY


Bugna district

The late onset rainy season is about to cease. From a distance, all mountains and valleys look like they are covered with well-woven green and yellow carpets. It is breathtaking scenery. I am riding in a 4-wheel drive Toyota Land Cruiser from Lalibela to Ayina, a town in the Bugna district, in Amhara Region of Ethiopia. The road is rough with lots of turns and ups and downs through the mountains and valleys. This trip is my third or fourth to this district since 2007. The previous trips were during dry seasons and I saw only dry, rugged mountains and terrain. But this trip is different.

Bugna district is one of the most drought-prone areas in Amhara region. Most of the farmers I talked to couldn’t remember the last time they produced enough to feed their families year round. The grip of poverty is so strong. With a scarcity of farmland and a degraded and infertile landscape, a six to nine-month food gap is evidence of poverty’s tyranny in the area.


Meet Maeregu Adugna

Maeregu Adugna, 38, is a resident of Birko village in Bugna district. He is a father of three children. He doesn’t own farmland, but rents three-quarters of a hectare through a crop sharing agreement with single mothers and older farmers who are unable to work on their own fields. He told me that with the exception of this year, his village has continuously been hit with hailstorms.

He added, “Every year my family faces a food shortage for five to six months. To fill in the food gap, I find daily labor work here in Ayina, or sometimes I migrate with fellow villagers to bigger towns in search of work. The most challenging time during a food shortage is the time between the rainy season and the following harvest. During this period, most construction projects stop and there are no labor jobs in town. That means we don’t have extra money to buy food. Our last resort is selling our valuable items, like beds or anything we can find in the house.”


Filling the food gap

Food for the Hungry (FH), in partnership with Organization for Rehabilitation and Development in Amhara (ORDA), has been implementing Joint Emergency Operation (JEOP) since 2013. This program provides a steady and planned food supply response.

Through the program Maeregu has received 99 pounds of wheat grain, 3 pounds of cooking oil and 10 pounds of pulse every month, from May through August of this year.

Maeregu says, “I am thankful for our supporters. If I did not get such support during this time, I would’ve been forced to go to rich farmers in the village and borrow some food to feed my family with a 100 percent interest rate. This is too much to bear. Or, after harvest I would’ve been forced to migrate to bigger towns in search of labor work. But then my kids wouldn’t be able to continue their education. This time I only gave 50 percent of the harvest to land owners as per our agreement, and the remaining is mine to keep. That means in addition to some income, I will be able to send my children to school another year.”

With support from you and our partners, we can help more families like Maeregu’s family. Will you join us?

 
 
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by Kebede Lulie on OCTOBER 9, 2014 in STORIES, WORLD POVERTY Bugna district The late onset rainy season is about to cease. From a distance, all mountains and valleys look like they are covered with well-woven green and yellow carpets. It is b…
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