Grow East Africa Ethiopia Woman Farmer

Partnering for Climate Resilience in Ethiopia

 Imagine a land where relentless droughts grip the earth, followed by sudden, devastating floods. This is the harsh reality for farmers in Burji, Ethiopia, one of the country’s most remote regions. Here, communities are facing both ends of a harsh reality that has been imposed upon them in recent years because of climate change. One season they suffer drought, and then next there’s too much rainfall. They face a constant struggle to survive, their traditional ways challenged by a rapidly changing climate.

A Tale of Two Threats:

  • Crippling Droughts: Burji endures long periods with little to no rainfall, baking the land and leaving crops parched. This lack of water jeopardizes food security and pushes communities to the brink of hunger. Last year, after 3 consecutively failed rainy seasons, hundreds of thousands of livestock died to dehydration and malnutrition, and communities were worried the malnutrition would hit them next.
  • Destructive Floods: Finally at the end of last year, the rains finally did come, and there was a succesful harvest, leaving communities hopeful that they had weathered through a rare drought season. But this year, in late March, when the rains came again, celebration turned to worry. Flash floods swept across the landscape, destroying crops, homes, and infrastructure. These unpredictable downpours leave a trail of devastation in their wake.

The harsh reality of both intermittent floods and droughts poses a significant challenge to food security and livelihoods. We realize that we must build resilience on both ends. Seed Programs International (SPI) and local partner Grow East Africa are working together to empower Burji’s farmers in this seemingly impossible situation. The project tackles both ends of the climate spectrum, and is currently working directly with 410 households, impacting over 2,000 individuals. Through a comprehensive approach, the program aims to:

  • Increase Agricultural Knowledge: Farmers are equipped with essential skills and knowledge to improve their agricultural practices. This empowers them to make informed decisions and adapt to changing environmental conditions.
  • Reduce Hunger and Diversify Diets: The project promotes the production of a wider variety of nutritious crops, ensuring a more balanced and healthy diet for families.
  • Climate-Smart Technologies: A crucial element is the introduction and utilization of climate-smart technologies. This includes water storage solutions, irrigation systems, solar power, and pump technology. These tools empower farmers to adapt to both droughts and floods, increasing their resilience in the face of climate change.
  • Drought mitigation and flood preparedness: Farmers are trained in water-saving techniques like conservation agriculture and equipped with drought-resistant seeds. We are now working together to develop flood-resistance infrastructure like adapted furrow irrigation systems and early warning systems. This allows farmers to anticipate floods and minimize damage to their crops and livelihoods.

Beyond Survival: Building a Sustainable Future:

This project isn’t just about surviving the next drought or flood. It’s about building long-term resilience and empowering Burji’s communities to thrive. By equipping farmers with the knowledge, resources, and technology they need, SPI and Grow East Africa are helping them:

  • Secure their food supply: Increased agricultural productivity ensures families have enough to eat, even during challenging times.
  • Adapt to a changing climate: Farmers gain the skills and tools to navigate the unpredictable weather patterns brought on by climate change.
  • Build a brighter future: The project fosters sustainable practices that protect the environment and ensure long-term food security for generations to come.

Your support helps us continue to adapt with our partners, iterating and innovating to respond to their changing needs. It’s an ongoing struggle, but we know together we can stabilize communities and help them adapt to their changing realities. Thank you for your belief and support in our work, and more importantly, in the families that work hard to better their situations. 

If you would like to support this program, please visit our Donation page: Thank you for your support!

Grow East Africa, Ethiopia Farmers with Harvest

Seed Programs International is a registered 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization that operates globally.  

Our EIN/Tax ID is 56-2092576. Thank you for your support!

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