Consortium for Capacity Building (CCB), University of Colorado at Boulder

The CCB is an educational, outreach, and networking organization at the University of Colorado, Boulder. CCB focuses on enhancing the value and use of climate, water, and weather information for the betterment of societies and the well being of individuals around the world.
Oct 1, 2013

Two types of water harvesting systems introduced

In Situ water harvesting percolation pond
In Situ water harvesting percolation pond

We are happy to report that two types of water harvesting systems were introduced during the rainy season of 2013 (June-Sept). The first completed was the surface water harvesting system (see picture) while the second one was an in situ one. The objective of the in situ water harvesting system was to increase the recharge of rainwater into the soil with the objective of increasing the water table and revitalizing a dying stream. The percolation pond was a little more than 300 cubic meters of pond. The rain water was collected in the pond. The traditional water harvesting pond was constructed with concrete at the pilot demonstration site to provide water all year round while the in situ water harvesting system has the objective of increasing the availability of the spring water so that women and children's burdon of collecting water by traveling for hourse can be reduced. Initial investigation during the beginning of the rainy season has improved the streams and we are getting reports now that there is rush of white stream water from the spring due to the percolotaion.

Again, thank you for your support. Please spread the word to your friends and family members so that our volunteers can continue to do this importnat work. We are being stressed with lack of money we will appreciate any ampount of donation to this project.

Thank you!

Surface water harvesting system completed in 2013
Surface water harvesting system completed in 2013
harvested water in the demonstration site
harvested water in the demonstration site
Jul 8, 2013

Students ready to plant new vegetable seeds

We visited the village and discussed the role of homestead gardens in increasing income and improved livelihood. The number of people in the discussion was more than 30 people including, a teacher and adults. Most of the students attend the Mugulat junior secondary school.

Seeds bought from the McGuckin Hardware store in Boulder (Colorado) were distributed to the students. In addition to the 18 students, additional 15 adults also received vegetable seeds. The students will grow seedlings in one plot and exchange seedlings and several varieties. 

The students committed themselves to use the buried clay pot irrigation system which saves precipitation.  A couple of people who will not use the super efficient water saving irrigation method (as was demonstrated by the high survival rate of the apple seedlings) were a couple of participants who live in the valleys with plenty of water.   

I want to take this opportunity to thank you, our supporters, for your generous support. We will appreciate your continue support in helping us mobilize more resources to further this important educational and development intervention in the dry lands. I will respond for any inquiries very gladly. Any additional support will provide highly needed purchase of inputs and contribute to sustainability. Thank you!

with vegetable seeds
with vegetable seeds
Apr 1, 2013

In Situ water harvesting shows results by reviving formerly dry streams

Oxen drinking from a revitalized stream
Oxen drinking from a revitalized stream

One of the impacts of environmental degradation in the village of Atebes, as in many Ethiopian highlands have been extreme soil erosion and consequently, the drying up of streams. When soil is washed down stream, the bare rocks do not absorb the water during the rainy season. The life span of the streams became short months following the end of the rainy season. Women and children spent several hours a day trekkingto collect water.

One of the interventions we tried in 2012 was trying to stop the rushing floods during the rainy season by building check dams using gabion walls on the upper slope of the dried stream. During the  the summer rains of 2012 the largest gabion stracture was filled with sand. We have photos of before and after the check dam strucutre and the stream to show the differnece.

As the picture of April 2012 shows, a little girl is trying to fill her water container (plastic Jerican) with a tiny can. It took her almost an hour to fill it with water. We took a picutre on a similar site in February this year. The stream did not only improve but the two oxen's body is half inside the water. We are told that not only are the farmers fetching water from her but , even farmers from down stream are coming her to fetch water. The farmers are in the process of devleing laws on water mangement. The spring is now cleaned and fenced. We are also asked by the farmers to help with the purchse of additional gabion wires and the farmers will use their labor to collect stones and fill it. 

When the stream is fully recharged, we believe that that farmers will not only have water for humans and animals but also for spreading their gardens close to the spring.

the first gabion check dam half filled with sand
the first gabion check dam half filled with sand
the main check dam filled with sand after the rain
the main check dam filled with sand after the rain
The stream before the  building of the check dam
The stream before the building of the check dam
the crick before the check dam was built
the crick before the check dam was built
gabion wires to build check dams
gabion wires to build check dams
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