Wednesday, July 8, 2015

Dry from the Sky: Ethiopia #10

July 7th. Travel day today. We left Lalibela and flew to Dire Dawa – from the high to the low (elevation that is). Our tourist stint is done. We are off to the Diocese of Haraghe in the east of Ethiopia to visit the projects we are supporting there. It was our 3rd internal flight of this trip. Before coming, I had no idea just how large Ethiopia is. At one million square kilometres, it is roughly the size of the province of Ontario. As we are flying into Dire Dawa, the stark difference on noticeable in the form of dry river beds. It is not the rainy season in this part of the country. We have now learned that there are two rainy seasons in Ethiopia Kiremt (the main one - between June and September) and Belg (a moderate one between February and May) I ask
Dry from the Sky -
One of many riverbeds with no river as seen from the place.
if they too have experienced the ‘Arrives Late and Leaves early’ phenomenon when it comes to rain. They have.  One of the staff at the Diocese, a young man, tells us that as a kid, he used to be the one to use the rain gauge for the river by his home when it rained. “They used to pay me to do it,” he tells us, “Now though, there is no more water in the river at all.”
 No water in the river. This is certainly what I saw as we flew in to Dire Dawa today. From the sky one could see long brown snakes creeping through the land. Dry riverbeds.

When we got to the diocese’s social development coordinating office, we were given an overview of the incredible work they are doing for the people. This is one of the best organized dioceses in the entire country. The key word they are using now when it comes to climate change is resilience. The project we are visiting tomorrow is an example of how that resilience actually plays out. 

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