Restoration cleans water!
We know how many hectares of land we’ve restored so far and how many trees are growing, but it’s always a real boost to see some visible impacts of our restoration. This image shows the same stream before and after passing through one of our restoration sites in Amhara, Ethiopia.
The photo on the left shows that there is soil erosion upstream: the water is dark with sediment, heavy rainfall having disturbed the soil and carried it into the stream.You can clearly see the improvement in water quality in the second image, which was taken approximately 75 metres downstream from the first one in our 6 hectare Deba Meret planting site in East Gojjam, where restoration started in 2017. The growing trees have slowed down the heavy rain, helping it to soak gently into the ground without causing soil erosion. This has had a tremendous impact for the 26 families who rely on this stream for washing and for water for their livestock.
Our Amhara project with THP is now entering phase two and expanding to ten times its current size into Jabi-Tehnan district in neighbouring West Gojjam, where it will restore 10,000 hectares of degraded land and open forest, introduce agroforestry practices on 925 ha of smallholder farmlands and involve the 14 villages of the Gewocha forest area to improve their self-reliance, livelihoods and forest governance. Seedlings are now being raised in nurseries for our new beneficiary farmers from the villages in Jabi-Tehnan in readiness for the 2022 planting season.
In Tigray, the seedling survival survey for the seedlings planted in previous years has shown some outstanding results: 94.05% for seedlings planted in 2018, 96.53% for 2019 and a whopping 99.12% for 2020! In this dry environment where survival can be as low as 60% this is an incredible result!
This year over 3893 ha is under restoration. Seven nurseries are raising 711,200 seedlings for enrichment and gap filling, and the majority have been planted out by the time of writing. The agroforestry program - where farmers plant high value fruits and other shrubs around their farms - saw 2580 households plant 47,794 seedlings around their homes. Water and soil conservation structures are a huge part of the restoration work - they are built before the rainy season to hold water during the harsh dry season and prevent soil erosion. This year ten water harvesting structures, 400 deep trenches and 123 loose stone check dams were built in the restoration sites.
The civil unrest in Tigray is challenging for our Desa’a project. According to the regional Bureau of Agriculture and Rural Development (BoARD), 237 tree nurseries in Tigray have been either fully or partially destroyed as a result of the ongoing conflict in the region, but fortunately the nurseries around our project in Desa’a are among those that have survived.
The livelihoods programme, which generates sustainable incomes for the community, has been able to make some progress while the security situation improved: 4000 chickens were distributed to 400 beneficiaries in the villages of Kalamin, Golgolnaele and Hawile and to start them off well, each chicken came with its own 5kg of food! The beekeeping program was boosted by the success of our new queen-rearing hub that supplied 34 of the 149 bee colonies to 70 families.
We had hoped to reach hundreds more families with the beekeeping and poultry program, but civil unrest has meant we refocused to prioritise immediate needs. Through a special fundraising campaign we have supported the 23 000 families to secure their harvest. The great news is that many of them have already been able to start harvesting the wheat and barley we were able to provide to them all by August this year.
If you’d like to help, go to https://www.globalgiving.org/projects/relief-fund-avoiding-starvation-for-110000-people/
This lady is taking seedlings to plant at home