Ethiopia: Sustainable livelihoods and environment
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.
People in Need focuses on its pilot projects of reforestation, erosion control measures, diversification of agricultural production and implementation of energy-friendly sources. Through proven methods such as using planted boundaries between fields to prevent the draining away of valuable soil, and expanding the use special species of plants that can be used for humans as well as animals, People in Need wants to protect the landscape and enable the population of rural areas to become self-sufficient.
Environmental projects are closely linked with the issue of subsistence. Our organization educates local indigenous farmers in the sustainable management of natural resources. The introduction of alternative fuels or energy-saving stoves then also helps prevent further deforestation. Undoubtedly, reforestation or setting the conditions for the regeneration of an area have the best chance of success when local people accept responsibility for their own land and natural resources. Therefore, People in Need seeks the closest of partnerships with residents and the local authorities responsible for the area.
Participatory development of the landscape in the Sidama zone
Participatory development of the landscape in Sidama zone
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.
Increase of Ecological Stability in Dijo and Bilate Catchment Basins
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.
Afforestation of land and protection against erosion
Sustainable Management of Natural Resources and Introduction of New Technologies
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.