Building Resilience

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The REAL project targets 25,000 of the most vulnerable households in four drought prone and food insecure districts of Wolayta Zone, SNNPR, Ethiopia. The project explores the link between population pressure, natural resources degradation, climate change, food and nutrition insecurity, poverty and how smallholder farmers’ poverty can be best tackled by coordinating context specific development efforts that are addressing these development challenges and long-term drivers of migration and irregular displacement in an integrated manner. The project, which is currently in its second year, is implemented by a consortium of five NGOs: iDE UK, Amref Health Africa, Caritas International Belgium, ECC-SDCO, and SOS Sahel Ethiopia.

In its role in the consortium, SOS Sahel Ethiopia draws on it extensive experience in natural resource management and focuses on improving and introducing natural resource management practices to target communities, including the conservation of the natural environment through undertaking physical and biological soil and conservation work with the communities themselves. SOS Sahel Ethiopia also works to improve sustainable crop production and to diversify the livelihood of target women and youth; as well as providing capacity building on disaster risk management.

Achievements so far

The points below highlight some project highlight of the first year that SOS Sahel Ethiopia have been able to achieve:

  • Enclosure of 57 hectares of severely degraded lands, which will be rehabilitated and used for non-farm activities such as beekeeping
  • Training for 350 community watershed team members on physical and biological soil and water conservation works
  • Needs assessment of farm tools with the purchase and distribution of 713 tool based on the result
  • The communities constructed 3.5 kms of stone bunds, 80 m3 of stone check-dams, 400 water collection trenches and 250 eyebrow basins
  • As part of the conservation work, a total of 40,000 cassia seedlings, 2,000 Grevillea seedlings and 2,700 mango seedlings were planted both in communal and private lands
  • Training on preparation and application of compost and production of multi-use forage development for 1,000 farmers, as well as distribution of desho grass splitting
  • Supported the establishment of 24 private nurseries for reproduction of forage planting materials
  • Undertook a survey of major pests and disease
  • Training of trainers on climate smart agricultural practices and techniques (which was cascaded down to 250 farmers and 40 development agents)
  • Organised 40 youths into 4 beehive construction groups on enclosed degraded land
  • Organised 30 unemployed rural youths into three fish farming business groups
  • Organised 20 resource poor women into two silk production women groups and provided relevant training
  • Provided training on community-managed disaster risk reduction
  • SOS Sahel Ethiopia will continue and expand on these activities during the second year of the project, encompassing more beneficiaries over the course of the three year project