The Horn of Africa is experiencing the worst locust plague in over 25 years. The insects are destroying entire swaths of land, and farming families are losing their livelihoods. The situation is particularly alarming in Ethiopia, where people have been suffering for years from recurring droughts, flare-ups of internal conflict, flooding and, most recently, the Covid 19 pandemic. The project area, which spans Somali Region, Amhara and Oromia, is home to approximately 5.86 million people who are at risk of acute food shortages and in urgent need of assistance.
Our relief efforts
Food security, income-generating activities, water supply and resource conservation are among the project's priorities. Cash payments are used to secure the immediate livelihoods of over 1,800 households for up to six months. Smallholder families receive drought-resistant and early-maturing seeds, fruit seedlings and training in agricultural methods. A dam will be built and 240 hectares of land regenerated. 200,000 tree seedlings will be planted with the participation of village communities. In addition, wells will be constructed and water supply systems installed. Unemployed youth receive support in income-generating activities; production gardens for women are established. In addition, gender training is provided for leaders and representatives of local authorities, and workshops on peacebuilding and conflict transformation are held to promote social cohesion in the communities. More than 7,800 families, almost 47,000 people, are benefiting from the aid measures. The consortium project combines humanitarian emergency aid with development aid and is being implemented together with the Evangelical Church of Switzerland (HEKS), partners of ACT Alliance Ethiopia and under the leadership of Bread for the World.
The worst locust plague in more than 25 years is causing hardship for people in the Eli Daar region. The swarms are destroying huge areas of pastureland and causing catastrophic crop losses.
Many of the remaining livestock herds are already suffering from malnutrition, causing animal diseases to spread rapidly and livestock to die. As a result, more and more people are losing their livelihoods and suffering from hunger. Together with our partner organization, we are on site, distributing medicines for the animals and providing veterinary treatment.
A mother reports: "Before RACIDA came to the area, our situation here was really bad," says the mother of eight children. "People didn't have enough to drink, let alone water for washing or cooking. Thanks to RACIDA's help and the tanker trucks, we were able to get fresh water in just 30 minutes. We also received water purification tablets so we could purify water for safe consumption." Asura and her children received 45 liters of water daily over a five-month period in 2018, brought to the region by tanker trucks. The water purification tablets have significantly reduced the number of cases of diarrhea in the project area.
The Eli Daar project region in Afar is affected by one of the worst desert locust invasions in the last 25 years. More and more people are losing their livelihoods and suffering from hunger. The locust swarms not only lead to crop losses, but also to the large-scale destruction of pasture land. Together with our partners, we are helping to mitigate the effects of the drought and establish food security for those affected
Together with partner organization APDA, the project aims to mitigate the impact of drought and locust invasion on the food security of families in Eli Daar. To ensure the survival of livestock, 2,916 households are provided with alfalfa hay. In addition, families will receive veterinary medicines and veterinarians will conduct six 15-day treatment campaigns. Beneficiary households have a maximum of 15 goats to ensure their survival. The hay is also expected to increase milk production by about 10 percent. The provision of animal feed and medical treatment is expected to protect the lives of the herds and thus the livelihoods of more than 2,900 households and about 35,000 animals.
The project region Eli Daar in Afar is affected by one of the worst desert locust invasions of the last 25 years. More and more people are losing their livelihoods and suffering from hunger. The swarms of locusts not only lead to crop losses, but also to the destruction of large areas of pasture land. Together with our partners, we are helping to alleviate the effects of the drought and to establish food security for those affected.
The speed with which the locusts spread and the size of the affected areas exceed the capacity of the authorities to control the swarms. In addition to the locusts, the population is already suffering from conflict-related displacements and droughts of recent years.
Catherine Mwangi, Director of our partner organization APDA in Kenya reported: "The locust invasion in our project area has a negative impact on the community's grazing land. The swarms have destroyed grazing land, which will severely reduce livestock productivity and thus lead to high food insecurity in many households. It is estimated that the first locust invasion in spring 2020 destroyed over 30% of the pasture land".
Another problem is the restrictions imposed by measures to prevent the spread of COVID-19. Transport and travel options have been restricted, fares have doubled, market days have been shortened and animal marketing to Djibouti has been suspended. This further complicates the economic situation of the Afar. On the other hand, food prices on the market are rising ever higher due to the coronavirus restrictions.
The supply of feed and means of locust control is intended to prevent the possible death of the animals and thus secure the livelihood of the livestock farmers. This can stop the spread of hunger. In addition, the migration to other areas and the conflicts that are partly caused by this will be stopped.
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The project region Eli Daar in Afar is affected by one of the worst desert locust invasions in the last 25 years. The speed with which the locusts spread and the size of the affected areas exceed the capacity of the authorities to bring the swarms under control. The locust swarms in the Afar region not only lead to crop losses, but also to the large-scale destruction of pasture land in the districts of Andaba, Akkule, Aba'a and Wahan. Since these areas border on Eritrea, the affected communities cannot move to other areas. Many of the remaining livestock herds are already suffering from malnutrition, which is rapidly spreading animal diseases and causing livestock to die. As a result, more and more people are losing their livelihoods and suffering from hunger. In addition to locusts, the population is already suffering from the expulsions and droughts of recent years caused by the conflict.
How we help Together with the partner organisation APDA, the project aims to alleviate the effects of the drought and locust invasion on the food security of families in Eli Daar. To ensure the survival of the livestock, 2,916 households are being supplied with alfalfa hay. In addition, the families receive veterinary medicines and veterinarians carry out six 15-day treatment campaigns. The beneficiary households have a maximum of 15 goats to ensure their survival. The hay is also expected to increase milk production by around 10 percent. The provision of animal feed and medical treatment is intended to protect the lives of the herds and thus the livelihoods of over 2,900 households and some 35,000 animals.
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