Addis Ababa – Ethiopian gold medallists Tirunesh Dibaba and Kenenisa Bekele on Sunday took part – along with thousands of their compatriots – in a six-kilometre charity run in the drought-hit Horn of Africa country.
Dibaba, the 18-year-old winner of the women’s 5 000m race at last month’s World Athletics Championships in Paris, and Bekele, who won the men’s 10 000m, helped raise $18 000 (almost R150 000) for relief aid.
Runners had paid 15 birr (about R10) each to participate in the “Birr for a Compatriot” race.
“Birr for a Compatriot was organised by a group of Ethiopians who came together to help themselves by contributing in the efforts against drought and poverty affecting our people,” said Solomi Tedesse, chairperson of the organising committee.
The money will be handed over to the Disaster Prevention and Preparedness Commission to purchase relief aid for people suffering from the effects of drought.
Ethiopia appealed last month for an additional 250 000 tons of emergency food aid, saying the number of people in need following a prolonged drought had risen to 13,2 million. – Sapa-AFP