Farmers in several communities in Oromiya say the lack of belg rains is not the only problem they face; They also have no seeds or fertilizers to plant crops for next year’s harvest.
Farmers in Idola Burqa in Arsi zone, Lome in central Oromiya and in Shashemane complain that the government is not letting them buy seed to plant or any fertilizer for next year’s harvest.
The Idola-Burqa farmer said this week he buried an 80-year-old neighbor who had suffered from dehydration due to starvation.He also said he personally knows of four small children who have died of starvation in recent days.
“There are food supplies but they are only in limited amounts,” said one farmer in thae suburb of shashamane. “Most of the supply goes to members of the local government officials.”
The vice president of Oromiya said that is a ridiculous charge. Abdulaziz Mohammed told VOA, “As human beings, we cannot withhold food while people are starving.”
Two legislators support the farmer’s complaints.Gutu Mulita, who is a member of the People’s House of Representatives, has made public charges in recent weeks that many communities in Oromiya are being ignored.Those claims are echoed by Olbana Mullisa of the regional parliament.