Audio: Ethiopian Man Talks of Recent Drought, Food Crisis

In recent years the rains in the Horn of Africa haven't followed their usual cycles. Crops have withered. Haregewoin says there's already severe hunger, and in the coming months it will be significantly worse. At the moment, some 10 million Ethiopians are not getting enough food and 4 million children are at risk.

"But the world is now totally focused on Syria, and this is really not obvious to most people in the world," he says, adding that the Ethiopian government and groups like the World Food Program are trying to spotlight the crisis.

Haregewoin knows from what he saw decades ago that hunger saps not just the body, but the spirit.

"There are people who are totally turned into monsters by starvation and hunger. Stealing, fighting for food. And sort of becoming extremely pathological people," he says.

At the same time, he's witnessed how the famine has brought out the best in some Horn of Africa residents.

"People share in Ethiopia, that's our culture," he says. "We eat together. Sharing is part of our make-up."

These days flash floods are hitting many of the regions where hunger is most acute, making it difficult for trucks to reach those in need.

The drought and the floods put Ethiopia on the precarious front lines of climate change.

"Climate change is not a myth, it's a reality," he argues. "I've seen it in my own lifetime."

Listen to the full story here:

http://www.pri.org/stories/2016-05-05/famine-haunted-his-childhood-ethiopia-now-he-sees-food-running-out-again

Andrew Heavens

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