Drought in the Horn of Africa: Support for the Ethiopian population

Ethiopia is affected by severe drought. New rainwater storage techniques help the population to deal with dry spells better.

The people in the Horn of Africa are currently living with the impacts of one of the worst droughts in the past 50 years. There was insufficient rain last year, and this will probably be the case again in 2017. Even if it does rain as is hoped, destructive flooding often results.

People suffer because of droughts in several ways. Firstly, they have too little water and food for their families, while their livestock also die. In addition, a poor harvest means that food prices in the region rise and people cannot set aside enough seed for the next cultivation season. Around 11 million people are affected by the drought in the Horn of Africa.

Alone in Ethiopia, over five million people are relying on emergency relief funds. Here, the Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ) GmbH is running various programmes in the country on behalf of the German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ) to mitigate the effects of the drought and to support the local population. 

In order to sustainably improve water supply, GIZ has for example coordinated the construction of weirs. The weirs collect rainwater and mitigate the destructive power of flooding. It means water can be stored and used for irrigation. This directly and sustainably improves the population’s food situation. Altogether, GIZ’s water and food supply measures reached over 900,000 people in Ethiopia last year.