Christian Aid Christmas Appeal 2020

Climate change brings drought and hunger to Ethiopia. But your love brings hope.

Mekonnen Sofar kneels in the sand, determinedly digging with his hands into the dirt of the dry riverbed in search of water. He is thirsty and desperate with the dry hole more than a metre deep. Mekonnen knows that if he does not strike water today, some of his livestock may die.

Christian Aid Christmas Appeal 2020
Pastoralist herdsman Mekonen Sofar, 38, takes his cattle to a dry river bed where he will excavate to find water to supply to his livestock in Mukecha Kebele, Ethiopia. Mekonen is feeling the effects of climate change as his livestock numbers dwindle and he finds it hard to feed and water them in a continuous drought environment. His household benefited from BRACE from his wife being a member of the local self help group and weather listening group. (Elizabeth Dalziel)

The effects of climate change are real in the village where Mekonnen lives with his wife and five sons. The rains have stopped, drought has dried the rivers, and crops no longer produce a harvest.

Mekonnen worries his way of life will not last much longer as the climate crisis worsens. Many of his livestock have already died and hunger has forced him to sell off some of his remaining animals.

“The changing climate has made it too difficult to live around here. My farm and animals are no longer enough. We pray for rain but when there’s no rain, we have to dig. Some people have shovels, but most don’t – they use their hands. A number of people have died because they dig deep with sand above their heads and the sand collapses on top of them. Even small children.”

Christian Aid Christmas Appeal 2020
Pastoralist herdsman Mekonen Sofar, 38, takes his cattle to a dry river bed where he will excavate to find water to supply to his livestock in Mukecha Kebele, Ethiopia. (Elizabeth Dalziel)

Mekonnen desperately needs a reliable water source to keep his animals alive and maintain his livelihood. Each day that passes is another day of digging. Another day of desperation.
Will you stand with families like Mekonnen’s on the frontline of the climate crisis?

• £25/€28 will plant elephant grass to feed livestock.
• £53/€59 will teach 12 farmers how to grow drought-tolerant crops.
• £105/€117 will buy three goats to give poor families an income.
• £500/€555 will help build a community pond from which Mekonnen can draw water for his animals and crops.

You can give online on the Christian Aid website here. You can also donate by telephone – 028 9064 8133 (Belfast) or 01 496 7040 (Dublin).