In Ethiopia’s drought-stricken South Omo region, Yohanes Lokody, a 27-year-old pastoralist from the Nyangatom tribe, faces daunting challenges to provide for his five children. The area is grappling with its worst drought in 40 years, making it increasingly impossible for Lokody and his fellow pastoralists to herd cattle the way their ancestors did.
And a dam constructed upstream on the Omo River is compounding their struggles. The dam’s reservoir withholds the river’s natural flow which once nourished grazing lands and provided water for livestock and agriculture. Natural rhythms were replaced with unexpected flooding that destroyed Lokody’s recently planted banana farm.
Despite these setbacks, Lokody showed resilience. With the help of iDE, he relocated his farm to a safer area where he could still utilize the river’s water for irrigation. He also joined forces with other youths and formed a group that collectively cultivates a larger area of land. This collaboration enabled the young farmers to increase production, access larger markets, and reduce vulnerability.
With support from iDE, Lokody further diversified his farming practices, adding commercial fodder cultivation on top of banana production. Despite the challenges he faces, he managed to sell his bananas and fodder and earn enough income to feed his family and livestock.
Lokody's journey embodies the determination of pastoralists to adapt to a changing world. It symbolizes their transition towards more sustainable livelihoods amid the loss of cultural heritage and the diminishing viability of their traditional way of life.
What's next for Yohanes
Lokody feels that farming is changing his life for the better, and he wants to learn even more to continue reaping the benefits. His story inspires hope and resilience as he embarks on an accelerated transition, forging a path towards a secure future for himself and his community.
- Output Marketing
- Food & Nutrition Security
- Environmental Protection
- Local Economic Development