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Climate Change Hardest Hit: Empowered Women of Ethiopia
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Climate Change Hardest Hit: Empowered Women of Ethiopia
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Southern Ethiopia is being hit hard by climate change, and the region's women often bear the brunt of hardships caused by unpredictable weather patterns and drought. But these women are reacting by empowering themselves, partnering with a local organization to share information and improve their living conditions.
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Funded by Oxfam America.

Produced by Alan Grazioso and Patricia Alvarado Núñez.

Originally featured in the ViewChange Online Film Contest.

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Segment 1

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Climate Change Hardest Hit: Empowered Women of Ethiopia
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A film by Alan Catello Grazioso
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Narrated by Majora Carter.
TERUFUA BAGAJO [DEWS Data Collector]
The climate is changing. Every year the amount of rain is decreasing. What all people are feeling is fear, fear of what they will face tomorrow.
LOKO DADACHA [Community leader]
There is an acute shortage of water, especially clean water. Our children are suffering from hunger.
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Ethiopia, Addis Ababa
MAJORA CARTER
Human life began in this region of Africa. While the people of Ethiopia have always had to cope with droughts, climate change is making things even worse, bringing about more unpredictable weather and more frequent and severe droughts.
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Ethiopia, Addis Ababa, Moyale
TITA MEKONNEN [Aid worker, Ethiopia]
In the last major rainy season, this area received rain only for five days, so the ponds are not storing enough water, not enough pasture is growing, and the crops are failing. If the natural resource is not doing good, the livestock cannot survive, and if the livestock cannot do good, the people cannot survive.
MAJORA CARTER
The Borena people who live here are herders and depend on their animals for food and income.
LOKO DADACHA
During the dry season it takes six hours a day to gather water. Over the years, rainfall has decreased.
MAJORA CARTER
Villagers must rely on water from the same pond where animals drink.
ADI TADHICHA [Community member]
We need to rehabilitate the pond and keep it clean.
MAJORA CARTER
One new strategy this community has undertaken is a drought early warning system called DEWS. That helps turn the deep knowledge women have of their communities into action. It's a partnership between villagers and a local group called the Gayo Pastoralist Development Initiative.
TEREFUA BAGAJO
My name is Terefua Bagajo. I'm a data collector. Every month I come to this area and collect data from five women and report that to Gayo. My questionnaire has 25 questions on sanitation, clean water, food, livestock, and pasture, as well as health. In our community, women are the first to feel the effect of drought. They know best about problems in the home, with children and the cattle. They know about shortage of food and water. They know what it means to have something and then lose it. That's why we collect data from them.
MAJORA CARTER
That information gets plotted on a graph, and when spikes reveal trouble, that triggers action. The community is key to identifying solutions.
KALICHA CHACHU [Community elder]
Sitting idle is good for nothing. It does not sustain or change your life. So we rehabilitate ponds. We are also clearing invasive bushes and preparing rangeland.
MAJORA CARTER
Local solutions include deepening and repairing ponds so they'll hold more water, distributing drought-tolerant goats to help families rebuild their herds, and improving public health by building latrines.
LOKO DADACHA
We benefitted from these projects and were able to make it through the last drought. If you're asking me what I wish, it's to get enough rain and grass and pasture. I wish to become self-sufficient.
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oxfamamerica.org/climate Oxfam America