The Rainfall Keeps Coming
Addis Tribune (05/05/00) By Our Special Correspondent
As the people of Addis already begin to groan under the rainfall that keeps coming, other parts of the country are also finally
receiving rain. Even the drought ravaged Southeast is getting thundershowers. Parts of the north are still said to have received
limited rain, but most areas are now reporting good amounts. Although it seems too late for the ‘Belg’ or small rains, farmers in
the ‘Belg’ producing areas are planting crops to see if they can still salvage a harvest.
Food is still moving into the country slowly. A high level delegation of the DPPC, WFP, and USAID has flown to Djibouti to
review the situation. Offloading of the big shipment of 86,000 metric tons from the US seems to be proceeding slowly, although there is no backlog of other ships being held up.
Local purchase of grain by the government of Ethiopia also seems to be proceeding slowly. Last week only 17,000 metric tons
of the projected 100,000 metric tons had been purchased.
As the food supplies dry up, distribution is not going ahead as planned. Only the hardest hit areas are receiving food. It looks
like most of the over 7,000,000 people scheduled to receive food in May will not be receiving any. May is the month when
most of those who suffered from a poor crop last year begin their serious hunger season.
In Somali Region, Gode is reported to be ‘swimming’ in nutritional biscuits. Other areas are not so fortunate. Serious food
shortages persist in most parts of the Region, and the long-term effort to provide nutritional supplements and therapeutic feeding has barely begun.
The crisis is not over yet. It may still get worse.