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.
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
Dec 26, 2012

Tech adoption that will enlighten your holiday

Using clay pots to grow tomatoes
Using clay pots to grow tomatoes

Dear supporters and contirbuted,

I would like to share with you a spontanous adoption of the use of clay pots for sub-surface irrigation in the dry lands. I saw it in the project and it is my own picture. As you can see, one of our project partners have planted tomatoe on the side of the water filled clay pot that irrigates the apple tree. The tomatoe is clearly happy as it gets the water from clay pot directly to its roots as well as a 12-hour tropical sun-shine. When asked about this Hailu said that he now clearly understands the use of the water filled buried clay pot irrigaiton as an efficient and reliablewatering system in his arid village and will continue to grow vegetables to support his family. For Ato Hailu, this was an experiment and the result was success.

Please note that this is your money doing something good and putting sustainability on the ground in the most vulnerable parts of the world, the arid lands. Again, thank you for your continued support and please keep safe and happy during this Holiday season. We wish you a happy New Year!!!

This year was good as I spent 11 months in Ethiopia consulting the Ethiopian Agricultural Transformation Agency on environmental and climate related issues. It gave me an opportunity to look into the project. We almost finished the surface water harvesting system for the pilot demonstration project. We are only left to put cover on it (look at the pciture)

I am back to Colorado now and if any one wants to know more about the project please feel free email me at tsegay@colorado.edu.  

Surface water harvesting system almost completed
Surface water harvesting system almost completed

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