"FEDETO/ADDIS ABABA, Ethiopia - On a treeless plain in eastern Ethiopia, thousands of destitute pastoralists have set up camp outside the tiny village of Fedeto. Over the past six months the camp has swelled as one of the worst droughts in decades has decimated herds, dried up pasture and made even drinking water scarce.
"We wandered for three months, losing every single animal apart from two donkeys," said Saido Ahmed Keyat, a 29-year-old mother of five, whose family had boasted 200 sheep and goats, 15 cattle, eight camels and seven donkeys. "All my children are malnourished. They need milk, they need many things."
Ethiopia's failed rains, which meteorologists blame on the El Nino weather phenomenon, have created a drought in some areas of the country worse than the 1984 crisis. Back then, water shortages and conflict combined to cause a famine that killed an estimated one million people."