Ethiopia: New Water Facilities and Growing Grain Reserves
Update to the Global Board
The main activities that marked the last six months at The Hunger Project (THP)-Ethiopia were: (1) Epicenter agricultural activities; (2)Construction of Machakel Epicenter; (3) Inauguration of Jaldu community water supply project (photo at left); and (4) Commencement of operation of completed community projects.
Details on Progress
The main interventions in which THP-Ethiopia is engaged to ensure food security in the epicenters are: epicenter farming, food banks, input supply, an Input Revolving Fund, and farm trials and demonstration.
The epicenters, with the participation of 932 partner community members, produced 163.54 bags of cereals, 12.6 bags of legumes and 3,990 kilograms of potato. 1,205 kilograms of the potato are stored to prepare potato seed for next season, while 1,800 kilograms of potato seed were sold to community members for this year's planting. 101.2 kilograms of potato was produced using drip irrigation. The food banks in the epicenters currently have 632.98 bags of cereal and legumes stocked.
82 partner community members who had been participating in our Input Revolving Fund program repaid 121.94 bags of grain (a total of 178.84 bags were expected). Epicenters earned 86,130.28 Birr (US$7,824) from the sale of medicine, grain, potato seed and other sources. The epicenters currently have 18 hired staff, with the salary of six staff members paid by the epicenters' own income. 600 heifers belonging to 535 farmers were artificially inseminated at the Debre Libanos Epicenter animal clinic.
Achieve Universal Education
Construction of 15 furnished literacy centers was planned in the period. Three dry pit latrines were also under construction in three literacy centers.
Epicenter nursery schools have 115 children (52 girls) enrolled, with children receiving one meal a day. 16 boys and 12 girls in the nursery class at Debre Libanos Epicenter were transferred to grade one after evaluation by district education experts. Six literacy centers were completed, with three others nearly complete for a total of nine literacy centers in Mesqan and Debre Libanos this quarter. All schools have been supplied with furniture.
Since most of the projects are remotely located and the farmers were busy with agricultural activities, project performance in Jaldu was slower than anticipated. In addition, the soaring price of cement and long wait time required for purchasing materials from government sources, who offer a relatively lower price, further contributed to slow progress.
Gender and Women's Empowerment
In the area of microfinance, 434 African Woman Food Farmer Initiative (AWFFI) and 143 Strategic-Planning-in-Action (SPIA) members, who were organized in 39 and 11 loan groups respectively, were given loan amounts of 351,000 Birr (US$31,884) and 108,100 Birr (US$9,820) respectively. 230,876 Birr (US$20,972) and 158,246 Birr (US$14,375) was collected as repayment from loan partners. 21,695.51 Birr (US$1,971) and 5,865.21 Birr (US$533) was mobilized in savings. The savings to-date from AWFFI and SPIA amounts to 117,040 Birr (US$10,632) and 180,340.70 Birr (US$16,382) respectively.
2,426 men and women loan partners attended training on different topics related to saving and credit activities, gender issues and HIV/AIDS and family planning.
Access to Basic Health
Four Health Posts were constructed (two in Jaldu, one in Debre Libanos and one in Machakel) during the period. Three epicenter clinics provided health services to the respective Epicenter communities.
Construction continued on two Health Posts (HP) in Jaldu and Debre Libanos, and the necessary industrial materials to construct an HP in Machakel were obtained. Three epicenter clinics in Jaldu, Debre Libanos and Mesqan were in operation, while three nurses were assigned to Mesqan and Jaldu Epicenter Clinics. Jaldu clinic was previously run by health extension workers. 372 adults were treated, 109 used family planning services and 161 mothers received pre- and post-natal services. 2,556 people were given information on family planning. Child Health Monitoring was conducted for 62 children, and 94 children were vaccinated.
Ensure Environment Sustainability
Through the period, THP-Ethiopia engaged in the construction of potable water sources, forest nursery plantation and awareness-raising workshops. Fifteen safe water supply projects were under construction in Jaldu, Debre Libanos, Mesqan and Machakel Epicenters.
Water source construction is moving ahead with six in the early stages of construction, two 10-15% complete, two are 50-65 % complete, one is 90% complete, and eight water sources 95% complete.
Jaldu (Shonta) water supply project, which is expected to provide water to about 6,000 members, is 97% complete. Seven out of 10 water points and two cattle troughs were made operational after the inauguration on November 22, 2008, in the presence of partner community members, woreda and zone government representatives, Rotary Club members and THP-Ethiopia staff and Country Director.
The funding required in addition to the Rotary contribution was covered by THP-Ethiopia. The community contribution in the form of trench excavation, back filling, sand and stone collection and transportation of all construction materials to the specific sites was estimated at Birr 100,000 (US$9,084).
A Water Project Board, which has 14 members, has been established and trained on the management of the scheme. THP-Ethiopia organized the training for The Water Project Board, and it was given for five days by woreda water desk and zone water development experts. In six completed water projects, 24 water scheme caretakers were trained.
In the area of forest nursery plantation, indigenous tree (Cordia africana) seed sown in Debre Libanos Epicenter was damaged due to frost. Dovalies and eucalyptus tree nurseries were established in Jaldu and Debre Libanos Epicenters, where the seedlings will be distributed to epicenter communities.
In environmental sanitation, 589 households constructed and started using dry pit latrines on their land among AWFFI and SPIA partners in three epicenters.
Epicenter committee meetings: A total of 34 meetings (out of 42 expected) were held, and 124 issues were discussed by the four Epicenter Committees in the period. On average, 33 Epicenter Committee members attended the bi-monthly meetings. The overall attendance was 52% on average. The attendance was lowest in Machakel and Jaldu. The highest attendance was observed in Debre Libanos followed by Mesqan Epicenter. In Debre Libanos female members' attendance is the highest and was the least in Machakel.
New Epicenter: The project document for the Wurib Epicenter was finalized and presented in a workshop which was attended by partner community members and woreda government bodies. Signing of project agreement is undergoing.
Vision, Commitment and Action Workshops (VCAWs): To facilitate Epicenter Committee election to replace those who will end their terms soon and promote THP principles, a VCAW was conducted in Mesqan Epicenter. The program was attended by community representatives and government officials. A total of 80 representatives attended the program.
Broader Awareness and Advocacy
STVO, a local television agency, had extensive news coverage of the inauguration of Jaldu community water supply project in Oromia language.
Monitoring progress was frequently conducted at different levels by the respective THP-Ethiopia staff, Epicenter Committees, sub-committees and government bodies. This provides an important opportunity to evaluate the degree of commitment of various parties involved, so that expected outcomes are attained as scheduled. Monitoring the impact of programs was done by closely following up Monitoring and Evaluation (M&E) indicators.