• Short Summary


    Ethiopia has appealed for international aid after the death toll in its drought-stricken provinces soared to hundreds.

  • Description

    1. GV & PAN Drought victims sitting near Red Cross medical centre (2 shots) 0.27
    2. CU Sacks of grain PULL OUT TO GV people sitting in front 0.35
    3. SVs Mother with children wait for medical treatment (3 shots) 0.54
    4. GVs Food being distributed (2 shots) 1.09
    5. GV Women dough 1.18
    6. GVs & SVs Women preparing food (3 shots) 1.41
    7. GV Armed men 1.49
    8. GVs & PAN People in makeshift huts (2 shots) 2.08
    9. SV Women and children in makeshift huts or shelters 2.16
    10. GVs Distribution of water. (3 shots) 2.37
    11. SVs Supplementary food being given to sick children (2 shots) 2.48
    12. SV Sick child 2.56

    Script is copyright Reuters Limited. All rights reserved

    Background: WOLLA & GONDAR, ETHIOPIA

    Ethiopia has appealed for international aid after the death toll in its drought-stricken provinces soared to hundreds. The drought is as severe as the disaster of 1973, which claimed an estimated two hundred thousand lives. The affected provinces are those of Wolla -- the worst hit in 1973 -- Gondar, Tigre and Eritrea. Reports began to filter in some time ago, but it was not until people from the drought-affected areas began trekking into towns in search of food that the government realised the extent of the problem. In three regions there has been little or no rain for four years. In other areas the rains due last summer after the 1980-81 drought failed to come. Many of the drought victims now are destitute. They stated in their villages through several seasons of poor rainfall, but last year in Eritrea crop failure was total. According to one relief agency, thousands of people have been living on wild cactus fruits, berries and grass. Drinking water is scarce because springs and wells have dried up.

    In Lalibela, high in the mountains of northern Wollo, farmers are being sent home with a month's supply of wheat to encourage them to stay until the next harvest is due. Hundreds though have walked for up to 25 days to reach help. In Wollo and Gondar the refuges are being cared for at temporary relief shelters. The Red Cross had set up makeshift centres, supplying grain and desperately needed food supplements for children suffering from the ravages of malnutrition. Medical aid too, is urgently required. Livestock has also been devastated with more than 55,000 cattle and pack animals dying between July and December last year. Ethiopia's Relief and Rehabilitation Commission said the inaccessibility of the drought-stricken areas was hindering the transfer of relief supplies. It blamed deforestation, erosion and inadequate rain for the drought.


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