Dear supporters and friends,
I visited the pilot project on January 21, 2012. January is the heart of the dry season in northern Ethiopia. Our roof water harvesting systems are getting low and our volunteers are worried. They think that unless we buy water even the efficient clay pot irrigation system might give way. The completion of the underground water harvesting system before the beginning of the rainy season in June will guarantee water for next year.
Despite the drought and increased temperature the efficiency of the clay pot irrigation system is visible. We have captured pictures of apples with flowers and small fruits. They also green in a dry and brown area. People in the village are chatting as to why the plants are not dry. That made the people very optimistic that the system works. Recently I was contacted by the county agricultural extension bureau and told me of their support for this kinds of initiatives. I plant to talk to them and share the information in my next report. Look at the attached pictures for more information.
Thank you for supporting the initiative
Tsegay from Ethiopia.
Our volunteer, A Gebru, visited the victory gardens pilot project and stated that the the rainy season was over two months ago, in September, however, the young apple trees are doing very well. The two water collection tankers were refilled due to one heavy rainfall at the beginning of November. The clay pot irrigaiton system are also saving water as expected. Our on going activity during these dry season is to complete the ground surface water harvesting system that we started in August. Now that the the pond under construction is dry, we plan continue with construction by building inside walls and water proofing it.The pond will be sealed with concrete and cement. It will also be fenced for safety. Once th eunderground water harvesting system is completed the water need of the demosntration site will be saved. We appreciate your continued support to successfully complete our goal of training the students in victory gardens. It is reported that our activities have coincided with the Ethiopian government’s aggressive support to farmers to create a household based water bank to deal with the hazard of climate change in the country.
Thank you for your continued support.
153 farmers in the village of Atebes requested the supply of 600 additional apple seedlings to plant during the rainy season of 2011. This is in addition to the initial plantation of 300 apple trees for the first time in July 2010, using the clay pot irrigation system. They were motivated by the success of last year's plantation at the demonstration site and their backyards. The training about fruit tree management that was provide to them by our volunteers in the Spring of 2011 was also very useful for the new demand. We are very happy to report that the majority of farmers requested between 2 and 5 seedlings, the quantities that they can manage both in labor and water supply. The 17 students continue to get rained as interns in the demonstration site. To provide security of water supply to the demonstration site, the project has begun the construction of a 40 cubic meter capacity underground water harvesting system (see photo). This new water harvesting system will be finalized during the coming dry season. Farmers are very happy about these posibilities to improve their knowledge and livelihood for the future.
In the name of the beneficiaries I would like to thank you for contirbuting to realize this inception and for creating hopes and possibilities in the hearts of the farmers and the students that problems that seem insurmountable can be solved.
It has been nine months since the demonstration site on the “use of clay pots for irrigation in the dry lands” began. The project planted fruit trees in a common area and distributed others to individual farmers. Recent rapid survey shows that more than 85 per cent of the fruit trees have survived the long dry season. Upcoming rains arrive for the anticipated rainy season beginning in mid-June. The rainy season will further enhance the life of our planted fruit trees.
Eighty framers and student interns participated in the training workshop that took place on May 29, 2011. The participants included 24 female and 56 men from the village. Three experts who have extensive experience in plant science, rural development and capacity building gave the workshop.
The training focused on the following issues:
During the workshop many farmers and students demanded for more apple trees to be planted during the next rainy season. Now that the trees are growing, farmers also demanded tools such as tree-cutting knives. We plan to respond positively thanks to your continued support.
I visited the victory gardens demonstration project using clay pots for sub-surface irrigation in Ethiopia in February. The project is fulfilling its primary objective of training and introducing the technique of clay pots sub-surface irrigation in the dry highlands to enable participants to grow fruit trees and vegetables during the dry season with more than 50% efficiency of water. My initial meeting with the leaders of the community and the rural students confirmed that water is the main livelihood constraints in the village.
The students have been training as interns in the project and have been doing a wonderful job by filling the clay pots every Saturday and taking care of the plants. The system has enabled the plants to survive during the dry months that begun in September. The stress of aridity has been visible recently when the harvested water was completely used up. We bought water so that the plants can survive until the next rain fills the water tankers.
I did two things before I left Boulder to Ethiopia. I bought about 10 pounds of apple fruits so that the kids and the people can taste what the fruit trees they are taking care taste and smell when they produce in the future. The second was to purchase 16 Boulder-Bolder Rub T-Shirts. They cost me only $1 each on sale after the end of the run. I wanted to give them as a thank you present for a job well done (see pictures of the students and apple tasting activities-all the people have never tasted an apple before). Those who tasted the apples loved the taste (saying it is juicy, tender, good flavor) and said that they have seen the future and will continue to work hard to adopt the technology.
The next step is to use your money to support the students to begin building their own victory gardens using clay pots as watering tool. The students confirmed that they will have their own small garden plots around their homesteading the near future. Since they are already trained, they will be supported to get seedlings and clay pots to water the fruit trees.
We were informed that one of the trees already produced an apple fruit and that the owner took it to a village wide memorial service to the community what it was. The fruit was passed to everyone with a feedback about its odor, its tenderness and finally it was and tasted. The owner of the fruit finally revealed to the people that it was from the new apple tree. Every one rejoiced as they have never seen or tasted an apple before and it was an indication of the goodies that they will harvest in the future. This will happen with hard work and the generous contribution of good people like. Your contribution is creating miracles. Please note that this project NEVER uses your contributions for travel or any other expense other tan its intended purpose of helping the kids. Thank you.
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