First of all I would like to thank you for your support. I would like to share with you the following updates about the project to build victory gardens for Ethiopian students.
I have not traveled to the project area since the summer. However reports coming from the pilot project are good and they include the following.
The fruit tree seedlings are still alive despite the arrival of the dry season.
The dry season has arrived. The clay pot irrigation system is working fine. No plant has died due to drought. The partners and students will weed the trees that have grown around the plants to compete for the water. It was also reported that only two clay pots out of the 50 in the community garden have been leaking due to previous crack. The general condition of the plants around the individual households are good as no plants have died due to the aridity.
Repairs of the water harvesting system is done. But rain has stopped before the containers are full
This is a report I received from Ato Amanuel Gebru, a fruit plant expert and volunteer in the area on September 13, 2010
"This is to update you about the field situation; we have been visiting your field trial two three times independently with Emebet before one week. Up to the last field date the two containers are on site but since there was leakage of water before reaching to the water container. Some maintenance has been conducted but since now there is no rain in the area after maintenance. In the previous container there is only 1/3 rd of its volume. And all plants are performing well till now. And the clay pots are also filled with water due to the previous rain. As to the expectation there will be rain in the coming days if not we will use other options to ship water and continue the study successfully."
A Report from Another volunteer (Ato Zesu) who visited the area sent the following on October 29
"I came back from ATebes (the proejct area) last week. I am sending you the pictures of the apple seedlings in the community farm. The students are watering them by filling the clay pots.Both the apples planted last summer have life and they are in a very good situation except the water shortage.The apples planted in the vicinity of the farmers houses also are in very good situation. All have life."
As the season passes the intensity of the drought will continue. We are planning to rent a water tanker to fill the two water containers. Until that is arranged, the students are fetching water form nearby reservoir using plastic containers on their way back to the village from the school which is about 6 kilometers away. The youth are already convinced to use the technique to adapt to the drought.
However, we believe that a long term solution to the problem of drought is need through large scale water harvesting in the region. Even if one uses sper efficient irrigation techniques, the pots have to be filled with water from somewhere.
Reports we get from the farmers also indicate that they are being convinced that the growing fruit trees by irrigating them with buried claypots is something they will adopt in the future. We are confident that your contribution will eventually see fruit.
Please see new pictures of the apple trees taken recently on the project page.If you want to share how the system of claypots irrigation works, go to our training slide show at http://victorygardensforafrica.com/?page_id=315
Happy Thanks Giving and Holiday Season and thank you for your continued support.
If you want one year of prosperity, grow grain. If you want ten years of prosperity, grow trees. If you want a hundred years of prosperity, grow people.