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 focus on their pilot projects of reforestation, erosion control measures, diversification of agricultural production and implementation of energy-friendly sources. Through proven methods such as planted boundaries between fields, with the aim of preventing the draining away of valuable soil, and of expanding special species of plants that can be used for humus 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, re-forestation or setting the conditions for the regeneration of an area have a 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
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, is 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 are further degraded by agriculture, which is increasingly in demand due to the growing population in the area. The result is 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. This environmental degradation leads to low soil fertility, reduced food security and the high incidence of malnutrition.
This project therefore aims to strengthen the capacity of actors responsible for the promotion of sustainable management of local sources, 70 representatives of local communities, 56 employees of farmer training centres and 30 government officials in particular. Their increased capacity 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. Their work will also be supported by easier access to better agricultural advisory and to other support enabling sustainable development of the livelihoods of at least 35,000 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.