Lukasi Yihes isn’t sure of his age, but guesses that he’s around 50. One thing he is sure about though is how many family members he has to support – with nine in the family it’s a struggle at the best of times.
Lukasi is from Makonissa Kebele, a small village in Damot Galle, southern Ethiopia. In early 2008, the production of maize and sweet potato on his small plot of land completely failed, and he was relying on a little income from two of his children, who work as traders, to support the others.
“Like other families, I was crying, wondering how to support my family,” he says. “But the assistance from the Red Cross came early, before any harm could come to my children.”
Now, as well as receiving a standard package of food aid, Lukasi has also received 2,250 sweet potato cuttings and 12.5 kg of bean seed to replace the stock that he’s lost through three failed harvests.
Lukasi expects to harvest the beans in November and the sweet potato in December 2008. Until that time he can rely on the food distributed by the Red Cross to help his family.
“The sweet potato is not much for my family, but it’s growing well now,” Lukasi says. “I feel relief from the trauma I had earlier this year.”
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