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Farmers in Ethiopia see the fruits of their labour

In the Amhara region of Ethiopia, households rely on a 31km long irrigation canal as a source of water for drinking and for farming. Recently, the canal was damaged by a flood, putting the livelihoods and health of 530 families at risk.

Over the past decade, rainy seasons in the region have become increasingly unreliable, leaving more and more farmers in the area dependent on the canal to irrigate their farms. But when the canal was damaged, many farmers like Yimmer Ali, who rely on fruit production to earn a living, began to lose their crops when the dry seasons came. 

“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 mangoes, using the sales of them to provide for my family. But after the flood broke the canal, I lost my produce.

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.” 

Not only did the damaged canal jeopardise livelihoods, it also meant that households lost their source of safe drinking water, putting them at risk of water-borne diseases. 

Unable to pay for the repair of the canal, local farmers came together and attempted to fix it themselves. But lacking the right tools, their hard work didn’t pay off. 

Hearing of the farmers’ efforts, Farm Africa brought in a team of experts to support the repair of the irrigation system and soon water was flowing through the canal again. Yimmer is hopeful for the future: 

“Farmers have been able to continue to grow onions and tomatoes since the canal has been fixed. Crop producers are expecting to resume seasonal production. I am sure the harvest next year will be amazing!” 

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