16/10/2012 - The last time Djibouti received normal rainfall was six years ago. On a good day, Djibouti's weather is harsh. Temperatures average at around 35 degrees Celsius climbing up to 50 degrees in the 'hot' months. Successive droughts and failed rains have seen the number of livestock dwindle. Many nomadic herders who traverse the desert have since lost most of their animals resorting to a sedentary life near urban centres. Already, about 80 per cent of the country's population lives in the capital, Djibouti city.
According to the Ministry of Agriculture, there are 1,600 small gardens in Djibouti each measuring about half a hectare. Each year, these gardens produce an average of 6,000 tonnes of fruits and vegetable, most of it is consumed in the capital. About 90 per cent of food eaten in Djibouti is imported.
The European Commission's Humanitarian Aid and Civil Protection department (ECHO) is funding these types of projects. ECHO cooperates with the Food and Agricultural Organisation (FAO) which provides seeds, tools, training and water pumps for irrigating the crops in support of 800 gardens across the country.