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Yimmer Ali's mangoes are saved by irrigation repair

28 August 2020

Yimmer Ali's mangoes are saved by irrigation repair

A decade ago, an irrigation canal was constructed in Haik Tehuledere woreda in the Amhara region in Ethiopia. The 31.8km long canal, built by the Organisation for Rehabilitation and Development in Amhara (ORDA), has been providing households in the Ambasel and Tehuledere woredas access to irrigation and drinking water. As the rainy season has become less reliable due to the changing climates, farmers in these areas rely on the canal to produce fruit and vegetables and major crops like teff, which needs plenty of water to grow. 

After years of service, a part of the canal, totaling 2.2kmwas damaged by a flood and needed rehabilitationThis put the livelihoods of 530 households who relied on the flow of water at risk, including 175 farmers who had completely lost access to irrigation water. 

Not having money to pay for the canals repair, farmers came together and attempted to repair the canal themselves using any available materials around them. Yet, the canal was not strong to withstand regular floods and led many farmers like Yimmer Ali, who relies on vegetable and fruit production, to lose their crops. 

Yimer Ali with his fellow farmer taking care of his Mango tree affected by lack of water.  

“For a year, like my neighbours, water was no longer flowing to my farm. I ended up being dependent on rainwater, which has become irregular and untrustworthy...I used to produce a good amount of fruits, using the sale of it to provide for my familyBut that year, after a heavy flood broke the canal, I lost my produce even though I worked hard to save it."  

I tried to draw water from another source, it didn’t work. On top of that, the rain was not sufficient to get my trees the water they needed. So, they were not fruitful like the other years and I faced a significant loss. This left me with no profit,” said Yimmer Ali 

Responding to the farmers’ call, with funding from Sida, Farm Africa partnered with ORDA to rehabilitate the canal. The Market Systems project was able to successfully support the farmers to sustain their irrigation farming 

 

A part of the canal reconstructed by the Market Systems project 

Farmers have be able to continue to grow onion and tomato since the canal has been fixed. Crop producers are making preparations to resume seasonal production… I am sure the teff crop harvest next year will be amazing!” commented Yimmer Ali. 

We would have struggled if the canal was not rebuilt, we would be dependent on rain and unable to make ourselves self-sufficient… additionally, our cattle and animals are getting drinking water by the homestead. This saves us wasting energy and protects them from water-borne diseases.”  

 With funding from SIDA, Farm Africa is working with the NGOs Mercy Corps and The Organization for Rehabilitation and Development in Amhara (ORDA).