Dadij and Senite live in the Doba Region in Eastern Ethiopia, about 20 km apart from each other. The key difference between them is that Dadji has been taking part in a land rehabilitation project and Senite has not. This meant that their experience of this year's drought in the Horn of Africa was quite different.
How have you been affected by this year's drought?I didn’t have any problems at all this year and haven’t been affected by the drought. I started participating in the MERET project seven years ago. Back then I grew some maize and barley but it wasn’t enough, I was dependent on food aid. Some people brought me seedlings of apple trees and even though I was hesitant - I hadn’t seen apples before - I started planting them. By selling apples I can make a lot of money. We never used to buy new clothes. Now I can. And food too.
Are droughts in your area becoming more frequent?I don’t know; I am now growing ten different crops. Apart from the apples, I grow coffee, maize, peppers and many other things. We also worked a lot in the hills around the village, building terraces and dams. And we planted trees, so we have no food or water shortage.
Through Ethiopia's MERET project, which is supported by WFP, communities that are at risk of hunger take part in activities to stop land degradation. They reforest barren hillsides, restore springs and rainwater ponds and construct agricultural terraces. This helps make communities much more resilient to prolonged drought and other climate-related shocks
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