Forty-year-old Anteshe Ganta’s husband died when their three children were very young, leaving her a plot of land behind their small hut which she did not have the skill or time to cultivate.
For years they have had to scrape by on the meagre earnings her son brings home as a manual labourer. Her oldest son is now old enough to cultivate the land with the help of his two younger brothers.
However, drought in Damot Pulasa, southern Ethiopia, has made the task an even bigger challenge.
Anteshe explains: “It is very hard to talk about all the problems that I have suffered with my children since my husband’s death. The land stayed barren for many years until my first son grew big enough to do the job. This year we lost our cattle and our remaining few reserve crops due to the drought.”
Anteshe was unable to feed her family until the Red Cross started providing food relief. She also received sweet potato and bean seeds, which she has planted, and maize seeds, which are now being harvested.
As she eats some roasted maize, she says: “We used to have to survive on hand-outs from neighbours. There were even days when we didn’t eat at all. Now, thanks to the Red Cross, we are not hungry. The crops are now growing and the maize is ripe. We hope not to face hunger anymore.”
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