A Green Journey: Abrha Weatsbha Community


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Dr Fetien Abay, Director of the Institute of Environment, Gender and Development at Mekelle University in Ethiopia, discusses the 2012 Equator Prize Winner Abrha Weatsbha Community.

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A Green Journey: Abrha Weatsbha Community

  1. 1. Tigray, Ethiopia
  2. 2. MU: Facts and Figures  51 Bachelors Degree and          26+Masters Degree programs 24,000+ Students 1400+ Academic staff 1700+ Administrative staff Regular, Evening, Summer and Distance Programs 4 Campuses 7 Colleges 6 Institutes, 1 Referal Hospital The EAO has Awarded Institutional Quality AssuranceMU as honorable quality Office award Human Rights and Legal Service Center
  3. 3. Ethiopia  The destruction of Ethiopia’s forests escalated due to Climate change & man made factors  Followed by people migrating, and cutting of forests to feed their families. A flash flood damages  Ground water reserves failed farm land To refill, flash floods washed away valuable farmland & caused gullies through farm
  4. 4. Background  Abraha Atsbaha village is located 45 km north-east of Mekelle,Tigray Highlands in which sandstone is exposed.  The community had experienced recurrent crop failure and received relief assistance for many years. Naked Hills  Desertification, soil degradation and lack of water, put the village on verge of resettlement
  5. 5. Process-what the community did  They worked on three interconnected interventions: soil erosion control, water harvesting and exclosure .  Tree planting activities have resulted in improved soil quality, higher crop yield, groundwater functioning, and flood prevention.  They constructed small dams, created water catchment ponds, and built trenches and bunds to restore groundwater functioning.
  6. 6. Process Cont..  The effort that this community has expended on erosion control measures is absolutely astounding.  They initially built hundreds of kilometers of soil and stone bunds to slow the flow of water down hills. Community members building stone bunds trench bunds, usually 1-1.5m deep to capture water
  7. 7. ‘Gullies as an opportunity for water harvesting’ (benefits from the loss) Gully as a threat before treatment Check dam location Gully as an opportunity after treatment
  8. 8. Process -achievement check dam prevents erosion = irrigation Reafforstation with naturally occurring species Sample shallow well
  9. 9. Addressing possible consequences: Enrichment Trench bunds enriching the ” water bank” raising the water table Half moon water harvesting technique for planting of fruit trees Area closure-reinventing the forest Contour bunds enable terracefarming on slopes while preventing erosion
  10. 10. Process-achievement Family farm Drip Irrigation irrigate the plant not the soil Hills Before Intervention Hills Now
  11. 11. Result of the process Women with her fruits Aba Hawi with his family in his Garden Community initiated Museum using ICT center Crop diversity Honey bee business Priests blessing a community gathering Potato seed store
  12. 12. Coffee plantation of the community
  13. 13. Women headed family benefiting from irrigation
  14. 14. Improvement in social service and housing/ health center/
  15. 15. Environmental friendly school
  16. 16. Personal and environmental hygiene
  17. 17. Abreha Weatsebeha: a Winner of two International prizes (2012) http://vimeo.com/45706418
  18. 18. Making the impossible possible/ Initiated Amazon dam
  19. 19. Having water every where sustain development
  20. 20. Women in Ethiopia ( Tigray)  Women bear most of the burden in activities impacted by an adverse climate  Women are not just victims due to their vulnerability; they are also key active agents of adaptation.  It is due to their involvement in climate sensitive work such as farming, forestry and fisheries.
  21. 21. Struggling for access to water: being part of the solution for climate change adaptation And it paid Women challenging the rock off!!!
  22. 22. low-external-input and ecologically sustainable innovation Construction of beehive from local materials Partitioning of cooking pans for saving energy Locally developed drip irrigation
  23. 23. The synergetic effect: Fast track initiative Evaluation Seed multiplication LSB project PPB Trials SSD project Diverse genotypes for multiplication
  24. 24. Diversity on the field and on the table – preventing hidden hunger
  25. 25. Better access to food through new sources of income Food Sources used by women-
  26. 26. Women: key for seed/varietal Selection production & processing
  27. 27. Scaling-up fields at Ayba and Simret Joint evaluation -2011
  28. 28. Technology Exchange Vs Technology Transfer 3 high yielding Climate resilient barely varieties released (07-11) 1. Felamit (waterloggng tolerant): 1st released FDV (Farmer Developed Variety), six row, water logging resistant, high yielding (Farmer co-owner Transgresive segregants 2. Fetina (SxH 182): Early maturing two row, white seeded & early matuing released for quality ( High Zn, Fe and Betaglutin,Dehisent 3 Hiriti (SxH 1.06): high potential areas six row, white seeded, high yielding Fetina (SxH 182)
  29. 29. Barley in Ethiopia (Tigray)
  30. 30. Synergy: Value addition: women coop
  31. 31. Sugar free biscut from sorghum, FM & barley: NAS
  32. 32. Adapting New crop to own food style: potato based food products: by women coop
  33. 33. Access for information & Documentation innovation (FLD)…  Women farmer(Ms.Million) was trained in documenting innovation i.e photographing W/ro Million taking photo of another innovative family( daughter and father being trained grafting by the mother)
  34. 34. Environmental rehabilitation and bio diversity enhancement
  35. 35. In conclusion a) b) c) d) e) “Resilience is not an outcome of any particular technology but rather the outcome of an increased capacity to adapt”. This experience need to be scaled up support to this innovative capacity through Partnership among stakeholders, donors, researchers, policy makers etc Build on local implementing capacity by targeting the right group and institutes rather than rejecting them of not being able to collaborate Women and Women’s Networks involved in NRM should be recognized as principal stakeholders
  36. 36. Thank you