Ahmed evocatively says the changes in his life have been like “rising from ash.”
Ato Ahmed Nuru Mohammed supports 16 people, including nine children and other extended family members who live with him. In the past, it was always a struggle to feed everyone. Because the climate in Abonsi, Ethiopia, is so hot and dry, he was always on the move, herding his livestock to find food and water. When he tried to plant food crops, the seasonal rains were not enough to grow them and the traditional irrigation canals he used were repeatedly washed away by floods.
“I was miserable… [whenever I] come back to Abonsi, I try to cultivate crops, hoping I might get lucky to harvest a crop this time.”
Thanks to your support, Ahmed and 300 other families have received some much-needed relief. An irrigation project came to Abonsi, supported by you and Canadian Foodgrains Bank, and implemented by our Ethiopian partners at Support for Sustainable Development (SSD), who work closely with the community on the ground. Concrete irrigation canals and other infrastructure were built to provide a secure source of water for growing food. Community members like Ahmed received food for helping construct the canals and training on irrigated agriculture to learn effective techniques for caring for their crops.
“Even though the food we get from the [food-for-work] program was enough to feed my family, I was anxiously waiting for the project to complete the irrigation structures that convey water to my plot.”
Now, Ahmed is cultivating his land twice a year, growing healthy crops of maize, sesame, Mung beans and haricot beans.
“Thanks to SSD, my life has changed. Currently, there is no food shortage in my family. [We eat] three times a day and for the children there is no restriction. They can get whatever they want at any time.”
The maize is eaten at home, but he sold his latest sesame and Mung bean harvests for 31,600 birr (over $2,000 Canadian).
“I have never got this amount of product and cash in my life. I have started leading stable life. I have sent all my children to school. I have the capacity to fulfill what they need for their education. Thanks to SSD, I will continue closely working with the project, listen to their advice and training to work for better life than what I am now.’’