Food Aid Sent to Gamo Gofa Zone Looted by Local Politicians and Sold in Local Markets

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Abbay Media News

Samueal Tafesse

Food Aid Sent to Gamo Gofa Zone Looted by Local Politicians and Sold in Local Markets Drought has been a recurring natural disaster that’s affecting even regions that traditionally have been green (lush) areas. One of these locations is Gamo Gofa, a zone in the southern region of Ethiopia. According to local Gamo Gofa residents, the region has been subjected to many seasonal droughts, and although the government is aware of the situation, the proper measures are not taken to protect the public from the catastrophe. Furthermore, aid sent by NGOs as well as foreign countries has been diverted to be sold in local markets and enrich local politicians.

Since last year, there has been a lack of rain, which has affected many farmers who depend on rainfall for water. The most stricken are farmers in Gamo Gofa region as well as in neighboring towns within the Somali Region. In order to survive the drought, farmers from northern part of Gamo Gofa feed their cattles plants that survived the drought, but once those plants deplete, the farmers are left with nothing to feed their cattles–exacerbating the effects of the drought.

Tinsae Radio reporters had a chance to interview some of the victims of the drought and ask them if there are people dying because of the rainlessness. The victims claimed that although many people are dying due to a lack of basic nutrition, the government is reluctant to admit it. The reason is that the government office that’s responsible for mitigating the effects of the drought has been busy diverting the food aid that’s sent by foreign governments to local political cadres who in turn sell it in local markets.

The people who are victims of the drought are forced to use whatever money they have left to buy the grains they need to survive from the cadres who’re selling the donated cereals.

This is not the first time the government is accused of siphoning aid. The government, which itself admitted, is riddled with corruption, and one of the channels of corruption has been aid. It is to be remembered that the ruling party, i.e, TPLF has been accused of diverting 100 million dollars worth of aid to use for its military efforts during the civil war against the Derg. That shameful habit has not subsided since assuming power in 1991.