Ethiopia: Climate resilience

Ethiopia: Climate resilience

© Wasihun Mihiret

Widespread improvements in the quality of life of many of the world’s populations have gone together with increased demands on natural resources. The planet is struggling to keep up, with increases in the average global temperature and the frequency of extreme weather events transforming ecosystems worldwide. Moreover, climate change impacts the world’s vulnerable people the most, many of whom lack the resources to adapt to new climate realities.

Rapid population growth in Ethiopia has brought with it a new trend of land grabbing, unsustainable exploitation of natural resources, and deforestation. As a result, these processes have led in some regions to the complete disappearance of vegetation. Unfortunately, these places are losing their natural character and function within the ecosystem.

Our main areas of focus are:

Climate resilient food and livelihood systems: here, we take a systems approach to livelihoods to improve food and nutrition security in climate-change vulnerable areas. This approach means analysing the root causes of poverty and nutrition insecurity, using a gender lens to identify the challenges the target group faces, and using a participatory process to identify opportunities and potential solutions. Approaches within this thematic area may include support to diversify livelihoods, such as food processing and marketing, debt relief and establishing links with social protection services, and supporting existing agricultural livelihoods.

Climate resilient WASH: here, technological solutions in climate-change vulnerable (e.g. drought- and flood-prone) areas are supported through enhanced governance and service-provider accountability. The key components of this approach are climate vulnerability assessments incorporating an analysis of GESI dynamics, the application of PIN’s Standards of WASH Programming and the participatory selection of appropriate climate-resilient solutions.

Productive and climate resilient landscapes: here, we address environmental degradation and the climate change-induced changes to the land, water and other resources people depend on for such things as agricultural productivity. Analysing geohazards alongside existing agricultural and livelihood practices is essential to providing a holistic solution that protects communities from the impact of natural disasters. It enhances agricultural productivity, livelihoods, and food security. Our response within this thematic area engages all key stakeholders, and our approaches include Early Warning Systems, Climate Smart Agriculture and Natural Resource Management techniques.

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Ongoing aidORPast aid programmes

Improving health, hygiene and sanitation in the Hawassa Zuriya woreda, Sidama region, Ethiopia

Improving health, hygiene and sanitation in the Hawassa Zuriya woreda, Sidama region, Ethiopia

Although the Ethiopian economy is currently one of the fastest growing economies in the world, its population, especially in rural Ethiopia, still faces very limited access to drinking water and poor sanitation. At the same time, irregular water supplies, its pollution, insufficient hygienic facilities and sanitation services have a fundamental impact on the health of individuals and entire households. In Ethiopia, about 60-80% of communicable diseases are associated with limited access to safe water, poor hygiene and sanitation. Approximately 50% of the consequences of malnutrition are linked to the environment in which an individual lives, which includes sanitation, hygiene and access to water. Nutrition, hygiene, sanitation and health are therefore closely linked.
People in Need has been implementing WASH, health and nutrition projects in the Sidama region (formerly SNNPR) for more than 15 years. As a result, PIN has extensive experience with a wide range of approaches and methods such as Sanitation Marketing, school WASH clubs and community health clubs. The aim of the project is to improve the hygiene and eating habits of all members of households. The project will contribute to improving the health system and sanitation facilities of health facilities and schools, among others through strengthening cooperation between relevant institutions and increasing their capacities. The project activities also include an awareness raising campaign to improve the hygiene and nutrition of the communities. The objective of the community activities is mainly to prevent infectious diseases and malnutrition, which contributes to the overall improvement of the health of the target population in Hawassa Zuriya, Sidama region, Ethiopia.
 
Establishment of a sustainable water system in selected kebeles of Bura, Dale and Bona Zuria Woredas

Establishment of a sustainable water system in selected kebeles of Bura, Dale and Bona Zuria Woredas

Access to safe water, sanitation and hygiene (WASH) are necessary prerequisites for the proper mental and physical development of an individual. Deficiencies in these areas often lead to the development of serious infectious diseases and malnutrition. This in turn also affects the performance of the economy and economic growth of the country. The Ethiopian Government is well aware of this context and has set as one of its objectives the provision of access to drinking water and the development of irrigation networks as part of its Second Development and Transformation Plan. The impact of quality of water, sanitation and hygiene facilities on overall human health is also recognized by People in Need, which has been implementing projects in Ethiopia aimed at improving access to drinking water for more than 15 years.
The aim of the ongoing project is to ensure universal and equal access to safe and affordable drinking water for all inhabitants of selected kebeles in the newly declared region of Sidama in southern Ethiopia. In addition to building new water supply systems, the project will also focus on their sustainability, through capacity building of operators, managers and support organizations. An integral part of the project will also be the assistance in setting up a tariff system that will allow access to affordable water for all members of target communities. Moreover, the project team will conduct the community awareness raising campaign regarding safe transport, water handling and storage, as this is the only way to ensure that water from the newly constructed supply systems is truly safe for its consumers.
The ongoing project represents a unique cooperation between the non-profit and private sector, where People in Need cooperates with the private company Ircon s.r.o., which is responsible for professional construction work, while the project team of People in Need provides community outreach and educational activities. 
 
Participatory development of the landscape in the Sidama zone

Participatory development of the landscape in the Sidama zone

The loss of fertile soil and the source of livelihood is a big problem in Ethiopia. Deforestation, soil degradation, erosion, drought or flood threaten Ethiopian farmers. Over the last 14 years, People in Need has been involved in drought and flood-related crises, set anti-erosion measures, and helped small farmers diversify production. The aim of this project is therefore to capitalize on the experience gained with the protection of agricultural landscapes and to improve the living conditions of poor farmers in selected keels, which aims to improve their attitudes towards agriculture and natural resources, which are the main source of their livelihood, but suffer from intense overuse and degradation. People in Need use and combine tools to prevent the degradation of natural resources, malnutrition, low food security, and community work. There will be plans for productive development of the landscape in cooperation with the Czech Research Institute for Soil Improvement and Soil Protection. The aim is that government authorities are better able to work with farmers and farming groups in the target area, who will then acquire the appropriate behavior in managing natural resources and farming, thereby improving their livelihood and nutrition for their families. Thanks to the training and campaign, farmers will also be able to cultivate new crops.
Support of Selected Town Water Utilities in Sustainable Water Scheme Management

Support of Selected Town Water Utilities in Sustainable Water Scheme Management

Increasing investments in water infrastructure are closely linked to the growing population in cities and mean a challenge, especially in the area of ​​managing complex and technologically advanced supply systems. In Ethiopia, town water utilities have a mandate from municipal authorities to provide water services to urban residents.
People in Need has extensive experience in projects dealing with sanitation, hygiene and access to safe water in Ethiopia. The aim of the project is to strengthen the capacities of selected town water utilities so that they are able to operate on market principles and thus ensure the uninterrupted supply of drinking water. The main outputs of the project is training of TWU employees and material support that will strengthen the management of municipal water systems.
 
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Participatory development of the landscape in Sidama zone

Participatory development of the landscape in Sidama zone

The loss of fertile soil and the source of livelihood is a big problem in Ethiopia. Deforestation, soil degradation, erosion, drought or flood threaten Ethiopian farmers. Over the last 14 years, People in Need has been involved in drought and flood-related crises, set anti-erosion measures, and helped small farmers diversify production. The aim of this project is therefore to capitalize on the experience gained with the protection of agricultural landscapes and to improve the living conditions of poor farmers in selected keels, which aims to improve their attitudes towards agriculture and natural resources, which are the main source of their livelihood, but suffer from intense overuse and degradation. In this project People in Need use and combine tools and measures to prevent the degradation of natural resources, malnutrition and low food security through community work.
Among the implemented activities are creation of landscape development plans, construction of adaptation measures through community projects (construction of dams, retention and accumulation tanks etc.), promotion of good agriculture practices among farmers (Climate Smart Agriculture), establishing capacities of local government, supporting self-help groups or sustainable nutrition campaign for farmer families. Thanks to the various trainings and campaigns, farmers acquire appropriate skills in natural resources protection and conservation agriculture, which contributes to better livelihood and nutrition for their families.
The project has been implementing activities in cooperation with Hawassa University in Ethiopia and the Czech Research Institute for Soil Improvement and Soil Protection.
 
Sustained Diet Quality Improvement by Fortification with Climate-smart, Nutrition-Smart Orange-fleshed Sweetpotato

Sustained Diet Quality Improvement by Fortification with Climate-smart, Nutrition-Smart Orange-fleshed Sweetpotato

Sweetpotato is a cheap, nutritious solution for developing countries needing to grow more food on less land for rapidly multiplying populations. The orange-fleshed varieties of sweetpotato is easy to grow and suitable for climate conditions in Ethiopia, but it also can play a key role in alleviating vitamin A deficiency, which is rampant among children in Ethiopia (40%). Vitamin A Deficiency (VAD) increases the risk of disease and death from infections as well as causing blindness. Just 125 grams of OFSP meets the daily vitamin A needs of a young child. The objective of the action is therefore increased intake of vitamin A and improved food security of local farmers. Within the project, the local farmers will be trained in the field of sweet potato cultivation, the awareness raising campaign among local communities about the advantages of sweet potatoes’ cultivation and consummation will be held, the agricultural centres will be materially supported and the farmers will be linked to the local market.

Improving livelihoods and nutrition through better community services

Improving livelihoods and nutrition through better community services

The low and ineffective agricultural productivity is one of the most important aspects threatening livelihoods and food security of local farmer communities in the target region. Our goal is therefore to improve the living conditions of poor farmers through sustainable agricultural practices, better nutrition and development of economic activities. Therefore, we improve effectiveness of existing community services and their better access for farmers, introduce sustainable agricultural practices (conservation agriculture and nutrition sensitive agriculture), appropriate processing, storage and marketing of products and increase of diversification in agricultural production with a special focus on nutrient-dense crops. One of the important elements of improving nutrition is awareness about the nutritionally valuable crops. Therefore, we train farmers in new farming practices but also educate local communities to enrich their diet and improve diet for themselves and their families. We cooperate not only with local farmers, but also with experts and government partners, which helped to identify the main challenges and the most effective solutions.

Improvements in health, hygiene and sanitation in selected cities and villages of Sidama zone

Improvements in health, hygiene and sanitation in selected cities and villages of Sidama zone

The aim of the project is to improve the health of the local population and prevent infectious diseases. A total of 11 health facilities and 19 schools will have improved hygienic and sanitation conditions. People in Need will repair or build new sanitation facilities in selected hospitals and schools and train local staff and volunteers to further promote awareness of good hygiene habits. Key messages will focus on hand washing, latrine use, and will also help protect children from E-coli infections through the BabyWASH pilot innovation that integrates access to water, sanitation and hygiene along with nutrition during the first 1000 days of child’s live.
Water Report

Water Report

WaterReport is used for reporting problems with water sources in given areas. Registered users can send SMS with problem description and responsible technicians will arrange a solution. Regular reports about water consumption, collected money or other activities can also be handed over. All problems and reports are displayed on a map or in a table and can be exported according to selected filters.

In Ethiopia, PIN uses the application in Alaba Special Wareda in SNNPR region. Alaba is known for very deep water table and only way to provide drinking water to the communities is via motorized deep boreholes. Such systems are technically and financially demanding. WaterReport serves the purpose of communication channel between water source committees (WASHCOs) and Wareda administration.

There are two types of reports. One, problem report is being sent in case of malfunction or breakdown of any part of the complex system. It enables wareda technicians to respond swiftly and reduce “down-time” of the source. Second type of reporting is a regular one; WASHCOs send administrative data on monthly basis such as water consumption and financial data. This makes the system transparent and enables Wareda administration to store received data in electronic version.

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Increase of Ecological Stability in Dijo and Bilate Catchment Basins

Increase of Ecological Stability in Dijo and Bilate Catchment Basins

Ethiopia is a developing country, which has long been struggling with chronic shortages of natural resources associated with growing population and its dependency on everyday use of these resources. In the last three decades there has thus been a continuous reduction in the availability of agricultural land, massive deforestation, erosion, and last but not least, reduced water availability.
One of the main causes of soil degradation in the catchment basins of Dijo and Bilate rivers, which are the target areas of the project, was disruption of the natural dynamics by animals, grass and trees in savanna environment, excessive felling of trees and improper grazing, in particular. Moreover, the land and natural resources were further degraded by agriculture, which is increasingly in demand due to the growing population in the area. It resulted in a landscape with very low vegetation cover, both during the drought and rainy seasons. This leads to low capacity of soil to keep water and consequently to drying of the land and accelerated runoff of the surface water. The drying involves soil erosion, loss of soil nutrients and degradation of organic soil components causing low soil fertility, reduced food security and high incidence of malnutrition.
This project therefore aims to strengthen the capacity of actors responsible for the promotion of sustainable management of local sources, representatives of local communities, employees of farmer training centres and government officials in particular. Their cooperation will allow the communities of the target kebeles to actively implement the long-term measures for the rehabilitation and protection of communal and individually managed lands. Specific project activities include the creation of landscape development plans, support for community forest nurseries, implementation of natural anti-erosion measures through community projects or work with farmers and their education in environmentally friendly farming techniques. Through the activities implemented, the project contributes to the sustainable development of the landscape, the protection of natural resources and a better livelihood of the local households.
 
Program for Improved Nutrition in Sidama and Gedeo Zones (IPIN)

Program for Improved Nutrition in Sidama and Gedeo Zones (IPIN)

Na základě svých dosavadních zkušeností z projektů přispívajících k lepší výživě Člověk v tísni vyvinul vlastní program IPIN (Integrated Programming for Improved Nutrition), který klade důraz na zlepšení výživy dětí v prvních třech letech jejich života, protože právě toto období je z pohledu výživy klíčové.
Každý rok zemřou tři miliony dětí na problémy spojené s podvýživou v prvních 1000 dnech svého života. 

Mnoho dalších je postiženo celoživotním následky – fyzickým či kognitivním poškozením vývoje, jež dále vedou k větším náchylnostem k nemocem, horším výsledkům ve škole a tím pádem i nižším výdělkům v dospělosti. I když se jejich výživa později zlepší, škody napáchané během tohoto období života se z drtivé části nedají napravit. Příčinám podvýživy přitom lze snadno předejít. K dětské úmrtnosti a chudobě ve světě totiž často přispívají špatné hygienické podmínky, málo pestrá strava, nedostatečné zdravotní služby či malá pozornost politiků a donátorů.

Projekt se zaměřuje na osvětu týkající se výživu kojenců (propagace kojení), hygienických návyků (například mytí rukou), ale i větší pestrost jídelníčku díky pěstování více druhů plodin. Velkou roli v projektu hrají vyškolení dobrovolníci, kteří osvětu mezi místním obyvatelstvem provádějí.
Ensuring Sustainable Access to the Drinking Water in Sidama Zone

Ensuring Sustainable Access to the Drinking Water in Sidama Zone

The main focus of the water projects is on rehabilitation of existing water schemes and construction of the new ones. Nevertheless establishing a water scheme and distribution network is not enough to guarantee functional drinking water distribution as incorrect manipulation and overlooking small defects can lead to damage of the whole system. The emphasis is thus also placed on management of the whole water system. That is why trainings are provided for employees of the local water associations to help them to manage the system in a better way and to respond to operational problems in a more effective manner.  As the major obstacle seems to be lengthy and often ineffective communication between the scheme operators and the water offices, who manage the repairs, there has been an electronic system for reporting malfunctions introduced in the area. Thanks to simple software, the officials are now able to address the problems reported by the scheme operator via a text message immediately. Since 2017, People in Need has started to map the water sources in Sidama by using the GPS system.

Public is also involved in the project through meetings  and trainings which provide the community members with information about good hygiene habits, especially those concerning proper handling and storage of drinking water.

Ensuring Sustainable Access to Drinking water

Ensuring Sustainable Access to Drinking water

Main focus of the project implemented in the area of Alaba is the rehabilitation of existing non-functional boreholes of drinking water and the construction of new schemes, which will take the form of hand-dug wells, in locations where there is high water demand. In order to increase the quality of water further, treatment plants will be constructed as part of the project, which will address the problem of high fluoride content in the drinking water.

Additionally, the emphasis will be placed on water scheme management. Trainings are prepared for the staff of the local water associations to help them to operate the water system in a better way and to effectively respond to operational problems. As the major obstacle seems to be lengthy and often ineffective communication between the scheme operators and the water offices, who manage the repairs, there has been an electronic system for reporting malfunctions introduced in the area. Thanks to simple software, the officials are now able to address the problems reported by the scheme operator via a text message immediately.
    
The difference between this project and those of similar nature implemented in the area lies not only in the newly introduced e-reporting system but also in inclusion of the private sector in the project activities, local suppliers of spare parts in particular.
Creating Resilience in Emergency Prone Areas through Multi-Sectoral Approach

Creating Resilience in Emergency Prone Areas through Multi-Sectoral Approach

This project was designed to increase resilience of people from two woredas in Wolayita Zone and it is implemented by People in Need in cooperation with American non-profitable organization International Medical Corps and Irish organization Concern Worldwide. While our partners address the issues of health and nutrition, PIN is in charge of water and sanitation sector. It is the 3rd continuation of the project funded by the European Commission (1st phase 2013, 2nd phase 2014–2015, 3rd phase 2015–2016) so far.

In the area of water and sanitation the main objective is to improve access to drinking water by building water infrastructure and increasing awareness of hygiene and sanitation practices in the communities, health-care centres and schools. All activities lead to building long-term resilience to crises and environmental upheaval as well as to diarrheal diseases caused by unsafe water consumption.

The main objective of the intervention lies in encouraging behavior change in the community through campaigns to promote hygiene practices, strengthen infrastructure (construction and rehabilitation of water schemes) and by increasing expert knowledge of the government officials.  Improving access to sanitation is ensured by the construction of latrines at the key public institutions and demonstration latrines in public places. The emphasis is also placed on proper waste management at health-care centres.
Support of restoring livelihoods

Support of restoring livelihoods

In 2011 southern and south-eastern Ethiopia was devastatingly affected by drought, which had a disastrous impact on the area and its inhabitants. An estimated 4.5 million people lost their basic source of livelihood and became dependent on food aid. The region suffered from  a shortage of drinking water  as well as a huge loss of grazing/farming land (causing a dramatic 60-95 %  decrease in herds) These developments have resulted in the pastoral communities losing not only a regular supply of food ( especially meat and milk), but their only source of income from the sale of livestock, which collapsed dramatically.
    
PIN responded to the disaster by distributing herding animals to approximately 430 affected families (ten goats per family) and furthermore provided animal medical control and vaccination. It is assumed that 70 % of these assisted families will be able to gain better access to food produce or to sustain sales of reproduced herd.
Support of Agricultural Trade and Sustainable Management of Natural Resources

Support of Agricultural Trade and Sustainable Management of Natural Resources

Natural resources are the main source of livelihood for most Ethiopian families in rural areas. The vast majority of the population depends on fuelwood as their sole source of energy for cooking. This has a drastic impact on deforestation: forest area decreased by 2.3 million hectares between 1997 and 2012. Deforestation and livestock grazing bring about widespread soil degradation, which in turn causes frequent floods and reduction of agricultural production.

People in Need (PIN) has adopted a holistic approach to improve ecological stability of those affected by the floods. At the same time it has been strengthening the capacity of people responsible for their long-term protection. In close cooperation with local agricultural authorities, PIN provides support for community development agents and seeks to involve communities in the development and implementation of plans for sustainable management of the landscape. These practical plans – developed with technical specialization by relevant experts – outline long-term priorities and obligations for communities for effective watershed management. Areas which are affected by erosion the most are closed and protected by legislation on community level in order to prevent the territory against grazing. This allows thousands of new trees to grow in peace and to protect soil from erosion.
    
    
In order to reduce the need for fuelwood, PIN supports local communities in selling of stoves with low energy consumption. Within project, marketing strategies for promotion of stoves are being developed and links between sellers and buyers established. The project supports households in securing alternative sources of livelihood, such as beekeeping. In terms of management of natural resources, beekeeping is an additional activity of farmers, because in order to increase the yield of honey, the communities seek to secure enough bee forage, and thus contribute to protection and regeneration of vegetation.

In total, 3,115 people living in the surroundings of rehabilitation areas benefit from the project directly, together with local development workers, government officials and manufacturers, dealers and distributors of energy-saving stoves for cooking. The final number of beneficiaries gaining support from the project amounts to 30,814 people, all residents of 4 target kebeles of Shebedino district.
Long-term sustainable management of water sources

Long-term sustainable management of water sources

PIN in Ethiopia aims to promote an effective long-term approach to a water supply. Foremost it is essential to improve the existing system of management of water resources, which is at the present stage failing. PIN oversees that employees are trained in the technical and administrative management of wells and that non-functioning, self governing committees are dismantled and reorganized. 

PIN are working with local authorities to repair the damaged wells and with technical departments of local governments to acquire equipment for routine repair of pumps. The program also includes an educational campaign to promote hygiene practices among residents, hoping that the campaign will reduce the risk of waterborne diseases and plagues, which are very common in the field.
Restoration of livelihoods

Restoration of livelihoods

The Somali region area is often characterized by malnutrition (especially amongst young children and nursing mothers), caused by frequent period of droughts. PIN decided to assist the local community in building a gravity irrigation channel that during the annual floods brings water to the farmers' fields. Apart from the construction of such channel systems, further forms of humanitarian aid were distributed amongst the local farming communities – the most in need were provided with seeds, or other basic material and the poorest families were presented with goats or sheep bought from The real gift collection funds.  Overall this project according to PIN estimates, directly or indirectly, helped more than a 10 thousand inhabitants of the Somali region.
Afforestation of land and protection against erosion

Afforestation of land and protection against erosion

The slopes around Lake Awassa have suffered progressive erosion and due to seasonal rain lots of land has ended up in the water. Therefore, PIN organized in the last couple of years training sessions for local public on how to sustainably manage natural resources, and tried to motivate local people to work on erosion control measures. With the support of PIN a nursery was set up for the production of sufficient seedlings for reforestation of the landscape. Subsequently, the worst affected areas were closed for grazing, and millions of seedlings that were planted there, are now helping to strengthen the soil.
 
Sustainable Management of Natural Resources and Introduction of New Technologies

Sustainable Management of Natural Resources and Introduction of New Technologies

Some areas of Ethiopian territory are being deforested and are threatened by soil erosion. Such developments cause a great deal of concern to local farmers and their livelihoods. Deforestation in Ethiopia is mainly due to the consumption of wood as a source of fuel, which is the only source of energy used to heat water for cooking. PIN has been afforesting affected areas by planting new crops having obtained suitable land for this and re-populating the forests. Simple technologies for the production of renewable energy sources have been introduced and the production and use of energy-saving stoves and solar dryers has been supported. At the present time local residents are subject to an information campaign about how small changes in everyday routine can prevent degradation of the environment which the residents of rural areas depend upon.
 
Another way how to prevent deforestation is the use of alternative building materials. African schools are traditionally built of wood and clay, however this method of construction reduces their lifespan and contributes to deforestation. There is still a vital need to build more schools in Ethiopia as the demand exceeds the capacity of local communities and NGOs. PIN has therefore decided to test the schools construction using proven technology that has been developed in South Africa and has successfully spread throughout the African and Asian continent. During this project, 13,000 bricks formed from clay (containing 5 % cement) were made by specially trained members of the local community.
Ensuring access to safe drinking water and reduction of diarrheal disease

Ensuring access to safe drinking water and reduction of diarrheal disease

People in Need (PIN) is working together in cooperation with the Sidama Water Supply Company IRCON to improve the drinking water supply within the Sidama Zone in the south of the country. By organizing awareness campaigns and training courses for local residents, especially teachers, students and employees of the health care sector as well as the general public, people are becoming increasingly aware of good hygiene habits, basic health principles and are taught the careful use of modernized systems of drinking water.

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