Swarms of ravenous locusts blacken the sky, ready to devour anything they find on the ground. Once they descend, months of hard work are ravaged within hours. Nothing is left, not even fodder for the cattle.
Locust invasions in Ethiopia are a devastating blow for farmers, who labour daily to ensure food security for themselves as well as contribute to the already shaken economy due to COVID-19. As the agriculture bureau conducts aerial sprays of pesticide to kills locusts, the neighbouring farmers were warned to harvest their crops quickly before the locusts reached them.
Farmers like Behailu, whose daughter is in Compassion's program, have limited help and resources, meaning the plague is devastating. “We were told to harvest as quickly as possible. Because of high demand, hiring help became unaffordable. As much as I worked hard, when the day ended, the field looked untouched. I said to myself that I would be lucky if I could save something for my kids to eat,” he said.
Only through your support can Compassion's local partners take actions at times like this. Volunteers travelled to the farms and helped Behailu and other farmers to complete their harvest. A week's worth of work was completed in just hours. “When friends of my daughter, people I know from the church and the staff, suddenly came to my farm, I couldn’t believe my eyes. They were a God-send. They didn’t only save my family from hunger, they also prevented a possible bankruptcy since I wouldn’t have anything to pay the land rent if I didn’t have any crop to sell," says Behailu.