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Ever Tried Revenge Honey? It Tastes Good

By Justin Rowlatt

There were lots of reasons why that famine was so terrible – war, government neglect, human rights abuses – but one was deforestation.

Ethiopia has suffered some of the worst deforestation on Earth. And without trees, there is little to protect the light soils of this hilly region from the sun, wind and intense bursts of rain.

On the outskirts of Mekele I visit an area where the soil is so thin even weeds and grasses can’t get a purchase. A scrawny-looking donkey noses among the rocks, seeking out the last scraps of nutrition.

It is a different story on the other side of the fence. Here tall grasses wave and there are shrubs and small trees. From a branch, a livid blue thrush fixes me with his scarlet-ringed eye.

“Nature has this tendency to heal itself,” Sarah explains. “We just need to harness that.”

Regreening isn’t a new concept, she says, but the community needs to support the project by ensuring that grazing animals are kept out and no-one cuts trees and shrubs for firewood…

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