Student - June 30, 2016

Meanwhile in... Ethiopia

Carina Nieuwenweg

Ethiopia is suffering from the most extreme drought in thirty years. This is caused by El Niño, a recurrent phenomenon whereby normally cool seawater heats up, influencing the weather all over the world. Thousands of harvests have failed and millions of people are suffering from food and water shortages, according to the Red Cross.

Comment by Betelhem Hailegiorgis 1st year MSc environmental sciences

‘The severe drought in Ethiopia is the direct effect of the weather phenomenon El Niño and its effects are disastrous. Most of our agriculture is rain-fed and depends on the rainy season. More than 85 percent of our population depends on agriculture. Fifteen million people are going short of food and water: the basic necessities for survival. I cannot imagine anything with a more severe impact than that. The government has food reserves but the severity of the drought is worse than expected.

My family is not directly affected by the drought. We are from the capital city, Addis Ababa. People in urban areas are less dependent on agriculture. But even in urban areas like Addis Ababa, the weather has changed dramatically. We do not really talk a lot about the drought and flooding. It is not the first time that this has happened to Ethiopia. And it is not the only thing that has happened; there have been incidents of flooding all over the country. Still, I continuously think about the affected people but I would not comment on students who throw away their food or something: everyone has their own way of life. I just wish the situation in my country was better. However, I try to do what I can by contributing to fundraisings for example. It might not be much but it is all I can do.’