Catholics Help Farmers in Ethiopia Via Operation Rice Bowl

Lane Bunkers, CRS’ country representative in Ethiopia, talks about how programs like Operation Rice Bowl enable Catholics in the U.S. to contribute to much needed development programs in poor countries.

Rainfall patterns in Ethiopia are changing, much as they are all around the world. Previously, farmers could rely on two distinct rainy seasons each year but that’s not the case anymore. We’re also entering our third year of drought conditions which further complicates the growing cycles for these farmers.

The irrigation project featured this year is one that we call a ‘multiple uses of water scheme’. It provides water for productive services like irrigation for crops and watering crops for livestock. But it also provides water for domestic use such as washing clothes, bathing and for the family to drink. The water system has not only helped the farmers in guaranteeing a crop in times of drought, but it has also had an impact on the health and hygiene of the family.

Operation Rice Bowl provides a great learning opportunity for people living in the United States. Yes, it’s true that your financial contribution is important and greatly appreciated. But equally important is learning about the issues facing Ethiopia and other countries around the world, and showing solidarity in the many ways that you can to end hunger.

Lane Bunkers is CRS’ country representative for Ethiopia. He is based in Addis Ababa.

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