Hailstorms and floods devastate the orphanage’s farms: In April’s update on this website, we reported how things were looking up for EWCV in its longterm desire to be as self-sufficient as possible, hopefully within the next five to ten years, by developing the productivity of its farms. Alas, we received the shocking news this week that the village’s farms have been devastated by hailstorms on 19 July followed by very heavy rains and severe floods that lasted two days. It sounds almost biblical, and the rains seem to have returned with a vengeance after the well-publicised drought affecting several countries in East Africa and The Horn due to the cyclical El Niño phenomenon.
Tesfai Hailu, Programme Manager at EWCV, wrote in a message sent out to partners and supporters as follows:
“... As many of you’re aware, after receiving a tractor donation from Switzerland in 2015, we intensified our effort to enhance farm productivity. Particularly, this year, we formed partnership with an Israel based organization called CultivAid (formerly known as Engineers Without Borders), which greatly assisted us in developing the farm; utilizing modern irrigation on 0.75 hectares (1.85 acres) of land, and provided us with highly valuable selected seeds. As a result, various vegetables such as cucumber, eggplants, tomato, hot and sweet pepper, zucchini as well as water melon were planted, and showed healthy growth. Also, we had beetroot, corn, cabbage, leek, lettuce, pepper, radish growing on a 2 hectares (4.94 acres) of land. Furthermore, there was an alfalfa field for our livestock consumption on 1.2 hectares (2.97 acres) of land. The cost for land preparation, seeds, labor (excluding volunteer work) and other related expenses was Birr 820,583 (USD 35,677 at current exchange rate). The harvest – in addition to producing vegetables and fruits for children's consumption – was expected to bring income by selling the farm products in Wukro as well as Mekelle. Sadly, everything has been damaged by hailstorm which fell on 19th. of July; followed by heavy rain and flooding for next couple of days.
Sure enough, this adversely affects our food security and financial capacity (emphasis by editor) not only in the form of lost income but having to depend more on the costly market for purchasing crops and vegetables for children as well as animal feed for our livestock. Equally concerning, management and employees’ (especially that of Farm) and some of the children’s morale has been badly bruised. So, while we regret having to share this sad news with you, we’re compelled to do so in the hope of getting badly needed support if at all possible. In particular, we wonder if any one of you would be able to assist us in identifying an organization that may be able to provide support in the form of disaster relief as the devastation we’re experiencing is extremely difficult to overcome on our own (emphasis by editor). Internet cooperating, we will next send before and after sample pictures for your quick viewing. And anyone who plans to visit the Village anytime soon will be able to see the damage firsthand”.
EOS-UK Charity Fund, along with its sister charities FECIN and SHARE, is supporting the management at EWCV with advice, and is trying desperately to see how material and financial support can be mobilised to help them with disaster relief and eventually with getting them back on track with their development work. However, we are only small charities and the situation calls for the involvement of bigger charities with the resources and expertise at managing major disasters.
All financial support will be welcomed and donations by debit card can be made to EOS-UK Charity Fund's bank account with Lloyds bank A/c No. 59948860, sort code 30-94-93, or by cheque made out in favour of EOS-UK Charity Fund and returned to The Hon. Treasurer, EOS-UK Charity Fund, c/o 5 The Cedars, Stockwell Road, Tettenhall, Wolverhampton, WV6 9AZ. For UK tax payers who may wish to complete a gift-aid mandate, please download and print one of the forms available under Donate. EOS-UK Charity Fund is registered with the Charity Commission for England and Wales, and its registration number is 1172420.