Drought - 2000
Once again, the failure of the Belg rains for 4 consecutive years has visited both Ethiopian highlands and lowlands putting the lives of almost 8 million people at risk. In the Ogaden region in the South East, lives are already being lost.
Farming in Ethiopia depends almost entirely on the rains; and when they fail, food security, hangs in the balance.
Why does drought and famine return almost every decade? Why have 3 consecutive governments failed miserably in providing the most basic needs of all-food? What needs to be done? How long can Ethiopia depend on foreign aid? Is there any hope to break this cycle?
Poll on the Current Drought
Where to send your contributions
Hunger Site: Make
Copyright SK © 2000
Pass Harar, Jegol, down the hill,
Jijiga, the city that once thrilled has fallen
And across Degahabur, between Gode and Kelafo,
A little girl, Rukia, was born just six summers ago
Our child bright and dear,
Whose joy and innocence that Ogaden bore
There in some corner of the field,
Lies her body beneath the dust and concealed
Now meet her, she whispers from beyond the grave,
She asks, "where is your love?"
Do talk to her and I will
Rukia, my dear, did you see a clear red sky,
That drove the bees, the birds and the doves away?
Did you fear the wailing winds,
The naked woods,
Meadows brown and sere,
Heaped in the hollows of the withered grove?
Tell me exactly what happened,
When you saw the autumn leaves lie dead
Tell me exactly what you did say,
When, from atop the fence, the crow called for the gloomy day
Did you think that you would grow young, adult and old,
That you would run across the plainhood,
And across the gentle sway of the flowers,
And laugh and jump with chums from the neighbors?
Tell me Rukia,
Did the goats slowly lie down?
And did the cows long for a lawn?
And did the winter grass turn sere brown?
What went through you when you saw the heap of the cattle bone,
When the smile of the flowers was gone?
Little Rukia, our six year old,
Whereto did you go when the flowers died?
Rukia our plant, our little child,
The sweat little thing from my isle, of my soil, my land,
What is left of me dear, now that you have died?
That your smiles did bewitch,
And your eyes did command
Kiss God on the cheek for me, will you?
Tell him that with the leaves our sins have fallen
And ask the Lord God, for your sake, to plant us a garden.
by Hauaria Hauaria@aol.com
"Rukia" was a real six year old girl who died of hunger while traveling with her mom in search of food a couple of weeks ago.