Habodo Gele age 35, with her baby Habiiba* (3 ½ months), and her son Saffi* age 5, at their home in Bisle, Siti zone, Ethiopia. A devastating drought is causing the worst food crisis to hit Ethiopia in 30 years, putting millions of people at risk of hunger and disease.

Habodo is living in a small community settlement (Approximately six adults and their children) one mile from Bisle host community and a larger camp for internally displaced people (IDPs). Habodo has seven children, five of whom are living with her in their small shelter. Their settlement is a 20-minute walk from the host community and the Oxfam water tank.

Habodo says  “Until now, the drought has mainly affected animals. Today it is affecting humans. It is scary. We don’t have enough food. We get a bit of help. We are supporting ourselves. “

"I had 30 big and 30 small cattle. Only one cow remains. We share our food with our cow"

"The only asset I have now is a cow. I also have 14 shoats, but there is no market for them. They are skinny and there is not enough meat for a trader to want to buy the animals. Basically I have nothing."

"We feel paralysed and powerless. When we are hungry we cannot move. We cannot fetch water. Most of the time we are just surviving."

"My children sing for God to bring an end to the drought. I am an IDP. We have stopped here because there is no water anywhere else. We are a good sharing community. We share well. If it was not for you, (Oxfam) we would not get water. If we have more than others we share our food. We believe what you give today you get back tomorrow."

"The water here is great for us because it means we don’t have to travel for hours to collect it…Before the water truck we had to travel a long way to collect water. We would start walking at 6 AM and get home at 12 noon. We believe one support brings another kind of support."

"You have seen with your own eyes the problems we have here. We need more support.”

*Note children’s names have been changed to protect their identity in line with Oxfam’s Child Protection Policy. 

For Habodo's full testimony see related reource 96419.

The Government of the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region has accepted the advice of the Disaster Relief Fund Advisory Committee and approved from the Disaster Relief Fund a grant of $7.488 million to Oxfam Hong Kong for providing relief to drought victims in Ethiopia.

Dried water beds and arid conditions dominate the landscape…

Announcing the grant today (May 25), a spokesman for the Government said that the grant will be used to provide water to victims, health centres, health posts and schools in the affected communities. The Committee hopes the grant will facilitate the provision of timely relief to the victims and help them restore their normal living.


Habodo Gele age 35, with her baby Habiiba* (3 ½ months), and her son Saffi* age 5, at their home in Bisle, Siti zone, Ethiopia. A devastating drought is causing the worst food crisis to hit Ethiopia in 30 years, putting millions of people at risk of hunger and disease.