A demonstration project using clay pots for subsurface irrigation began on July 20 in the village of Atebes. For now “Build victory gardens for 200 Ethiopian students - #5659” is a component of this project in the village.
After discussions with the village elders, a site for the plantation of the fruit trees was identified. The project began with discussions of the needs. First the holes for the fruit trees were dug by students in the village. We bought 212 apple tries which are suitable for this mountain area. We initially trained 7 volunteers on the plantation, watering and care of this exotic plant. Initially, 12 plants were distributed to the volunteers out of the 200 apple trees purchased. The apple varieties bought include Java, BR and Anna. The 200 trees will be split between the demonstration site and individual farmers. We will so buy additional seedlings since we have observed increased demand. We are gathering organic fertilizers for the demonstration site. Finding clay pots has been difficult since the pots are not made during the rainy season. We came up with the idea of Jerry cans for clay pots exchange. We bought 50 Jerry cans and asked those who want to exchange their pots for the new containers. We collected all the clay pots we needed and the farmers were happy with the new containers. The pots will be buried July 28, 2010.
We are also building a water harvesting system for the dry season. A 10000 liter capacity water tanker was bought from the nearest city of Mekelle and is being transported as we speak (7-27-2010). We will build a platform for the tanker that will harvest water from the roof. There might be a need to purchase and install an additional water tanker.
The students in the village who are now on their summer vacation are playing a very important role in the project. They already dug 67 holes for the seedlings. They will also get more training when the plants are planted today. With funding availability the project plans to train them into becoming organic farmers. We believe that climate change adaptation should focus on the youth in order to achieve sustainability. Solving developmental constraints (such as water) and capacity building are central components of any such action.
Detailed report with pictures from the field will be presented soon.
Consortium for capacity building (CCB)
University of Colorado
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