To Kecha Oudo, a mother of eight, and thousands of other residents of Saba Boru area the AAE food aid was timely. Having sold all her cattle to buy food after the drought, due to seasonal rain failure during mid April to the beginning of June Kecha had nothing left to feed the family. “The relief food came to our rescue as all the family food reserves were completely depleted. This will keep us alive till we harvest our fields in about two months,”she said.
Kecha lives in Tembo Gedemso kebele in Saba Boru woreda of Gugi Zone in the Oromiya Regional State. The drought that hit the area have reportedly claimed lives of 79,365 cattle and withered crops of thousands of peasants. This forced over half of the woreda population of 107,120 (including 46,692 females) to depend on relief food according to Rift Valley Children and Women Development Organization (RCWDO’s) reports. ActionAid Ethiopia and its partner (RCWDO) in collaboration with the woreda government are distributing relief food to 10,080 drought affected people.
Kecha was one of the residents who converged to collect relief food at Loletu kebele, the distribution site. She said that she sold about 30 cattle to feed the family during the drought.
Three of my children have quit school as we had nothing to eat. They went to the sites of gold mining around here
she said, adding that this has helped them to stay alive although they do not earn much to support the family.
Kecha said “We have grains sown during the last rainy season although the yield would not be good as the rain was erratic this time too. We pray that we harvest enough to feed us till the next harvest season. Otherwise we will need the relief supply to continue.”
Kecha said that her family used to produce over 22 quintals of wheat, barley, teff and other grains annually before the drought.
Located 589 kms South east of AA Saba Boru is a new intervention area AAE initiated in partnership with RCWDO. AAE provided a total of birr 4,650,626.02 . The food supply included 15killos of maize, 1.5 kg of pulse and, 0.45kg of edible oil per individual per month. Also 4.5 kg of famex is provided to lactating mothers and kids per individual per month. The amount of food aid distributed is meant to cover the food need of the seriously affected community members for two months.
The green pasture and natural forests as well as very good looking cattle make it hard to imagine the drought two months ago and its lingering effects. Neither does the appearance of the community members who dressed well and seemed very well fed hinted any hunger. The rain fall during September and October revived the pastures, conditions of the cattle and dairy products, according to the residents.