The Konso people have a vibrant culture and unique agricultural practices. However, a growing population and frequent drought have put pressure on natural resources leading to deforestation, soil erosion and a loss of native wildlife. To address these challenges, the Konso Development Association (KDA) created the Gersale Tree Nursery to reforest 5.6 hectares of land, annually distribute 200,000 fruit, fuel wood and fodder seedlings and create local jobs to care for the trees and land.
Generations of unsustainable land-use practices coupled with pressure from increasing population have led to severe land degradation in Konso. This has reduced agricultural productivity and fodder production for livestock, forcing people to farm and graze the land even more intensively and contributing to a cycle of poverty. In addition, younger generations are abandoning the labor-intensive traditional agricultural techniques developed to conserve soil and deal with drought prone areas.
Through the Gersale Tree Nursery, KDA improves conservation, provides trees to local families and creates jobs by employing local people to manage the nursery and care for the trees. KDA takes a holistic approach to reforestation, ensuring that donations cover the cost of the nursery and seedling and the 2 years of care that it takes for a tree to fully mature. Since opening in 2009, KDA has provided work for 75 people each year and distributed or planted over 195,000 seedlings.
The Gersale Tree Nursery has committed to reforesting a 5.6 hectare piece of degraded land in Konso while planting or distributing 200,000 seedlings per year to community members. The trees planted in the degraded land will provide 100 jobs each year for the local community and the distributed seedlings, mostly fruit trees, will provide supplemental income and nutritious foods for the local community.
This project has provided additional documentation in a PDF file (projdoc.pdf).
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Konso Development Association
Konso, SNNPR - Ethiopia