CLWR board member Marcus Busch from Edmonton visited Westlock Growing Project recently. He spoke at the ecumenical service held after the Sunday lunch and before the harvest of the Growing Project’s field.
This growing project supports the work of Support for Sustainable Development, an Ethiopian NGO working on agricultural development issues in the Aura district. The growing project revenues are deposited to the CLWR account at the Canadian Foodgrains Bank.
The people of Aura are blessed with good soil and good seed like most Canadian farmers, they just don’t have access to good or abundant water. The SSD project supported through CLWR changes that dramatically. Water diversion and retention projects along with irrigation means that normally nomadic herders are able to settle in communities, provide education for their children and access all the benefits of living in community like health care and economic development.
As Marcus Busch reports, “SSD does more than build irrigation infrastructure; it trains the local people in horticulture, animal husbandry, nutrition, sanitation, community leadership training, the empowerment of women, and emphasizing the importance of education, especially for girls.”
“Irrigation-Based Humanitarian Development—that, in a phrase, is what CLWR in partnership with CFGB and SSD are doing in Afar,” adds Marcus.
Yield was higher than expected and all four hoppers on the B-trains were filled rather than the three predicted.
All labour and use of machinery was donated, including the plane rides for observers. They did pay rent for the land, but the landowner always donates the same amount back to the growing project.
Tom Brook – Community Relations Director