Making injera in Ethiopia
In the Winter 2012/13 edition of Side by Side magazine, we asked you to share your favourite bread recipes.
Belay, who works in CAFOD’s London office, explains the process of making injera and shares a recipe for defo dabo, a traditional Ethiopia bread which you can make at home.
Injera is Ethiopia’s traditional bread is made with teff, a tiny, round grain that is grown only in the highlands of Ethiopia.
As a lot of people live away from Ethiopia they have modified their recipes depending on what grains are available to them. The injera you find in UK restaurants includes wheat or rice flours. The injera made in Ethiopian is made solely with teff. Continue reading
Filed under CAFOD, Ethiopia
In his second blog about CAFOD’s humanitarian work over the last fifty years, Mike Noyes remembers the drought of 1973.
The drought that affected East Africa and the Sahel region (the stretch of Africa just south of the Sahara desert) in 1973 was one of the worst in recent memory. When I was working in Africa in the late 1980s, people used to talk about this drought as being the one that caused permanent environmental damage: whole forests died, and wildlife was wiped out.
The impact of the drought was particularly serious in Ethiopia, because it coincided with a civil war. Affecting mostly the north-eastern part of the country, the drought was said at the time to have led to the deaths of some 200,000 people, although current estimates put the figure at about half that number.
Attempts by the ruling regime of Haile Selassie to cover up the extent of the disaster, and a domestic economic slump resulting from the 1973 oil crisis, increased discontent amongst the politically organised groups in the army, and led to a coup which brought the communist-backed Derg regime to power.
This regime in turn was to collapse in 1987 following another major drought and famine in Ethiopia in 1983-84, where once again the government tried to hide the true impact of the suffering of its people.
Back in 1973, we launched a special appeal for Ethiopia and raised £30,000 – worth about ten times as much in today’s terms. Continue reading
A child is assessed for malnutrition at a CAFOD-funded health clinic
Catherine Mahony writes:
I’m an emergency response officer for CAFOD and I’ve recently returned from a trip to Ethiopia. During my visit, one of my tasks was to help develop a programme of support for a group of clinics run by Catholic nuns in southern Ethiopia, and I wanted to visit them to see what was going on.
I’ve never worked with people in religious orders before, and realise now that I had a lot of preconceptions that I had never had cause to question. It was only when I registered my surprise on meeting the sisters that I realised what my expectations had been: I’d imagined quiet, meek and sweet-smelling older ladies, who would cast their eyes dolorously upwards when faced with the bitter challenges confronting the communities living in grinding poverty. I imagined a serene, sympathetic detachment, the other-worldliness of the divinely inspired.
What I found was a collection of dynamos – laughing, smiling, bold and brave women who bounced round the clinics, one minute giving high-fives to toddlers and the next assiduously checking patient record cards. I don’t think I’ve ever been as humbled or inspired by anyone as much as I was by these women.
How do you imagine heaven? For me, heaven is a wide, open landscape full of trees and green grass. This is what I saw when I arrived in England.
Where I come from, Adigrat in northern Ethiopia, the landscape is dry and rocky. When the rain comes, it is heavy and destructive, so we rarely see the bright green landscape I have experienced here.
One of the reasons I am so interested in the topography of different areas is because I am a water and sanitation engineer. In Ethiopia, the topography of an area directly affects a community’s access to water. This is where I contribute; by looking at what the landscape has to offer, and building reservoirs, canals and springs to bring water to people, animals and crops.
As an example of what can be achieved in water engineering, I often tell people the story of a young girl called Rigiaet. Before I built a spring in Rigiaet’s village, this six-year-old had to walk a long way each morning to collect water for her family. Rigiaet told me, “I wake up at 6am to fetch water before I go to class. Sometimes I am late to school. I fetch water three times a day with my ten-litre container. The water is not clean.”
Although Rigiaet now has access to a clean water spring, the same is not true for many young girls in Ethiopia. Seeing how my input in developing irrigation and water supplies is improving the lives of people living in dry areas is what makes me happiest in my job.
It is these stories that I have been sharing over the past three weeks as part of CAFOD’s Thirst for change campaign. I have travelled all over England, talking in schools, colleges and parishes about water and sanitation in Ethiopia. Continue reading
Filed under CAFOD, Ethiopia
I love the technical side of being an engineer. I am most happy when I see the product which I have designed actually working.
I spend four or five days a week out in the field, teaching and training farmers to build the irrigation systems and wells that I have designed. I explain everything, I am alongside them every day.
Many water engineers work for contractors or in industry, but I am happy to work with the communities. Here, I see how jobs are created, how people are solving their own problems and I know that because of my work people are able to live. It’s not just my work, it’s the project and it’s CAFOD‘s support. But the message of thanks from the communities comes directly to me.
Call on the PM for safe water and sanitation for all > Continue reading