Poverty Alleviation Through Water Cellar Technology PRESENTED BY: CHINA FOUDATION FOR PROVERTY ALLEVIATION, XCMG, AND ERHA Collaboration Water scarcity and natural resource mismanagement in Ethiopia can be directly related to the cause of poverty. Since agriculture is Ethiopia's largest economic sector accounting for 80.2% of Ethiopia's labor force, Ethiopian citizens are primarily dependent on water for maintaining its economy, meaning water scarcity detrimentally impacts Ethiopia's overall economy and development. Many farmers make less than $830USD annually, which falls below the world poverty line. Yet still, many farmers are still struggling to produce enough crops and livestock for sell on the market. Furthermore, the financial expense of farm material and supplies like seedlings, fertilizer, pesticide, land rental, transportation, etc. and constant droughts, uncustomary sporadic rainfall patterns, makes it a struggle for farmers to provide for their families. Minjar-Shenkora woreda (The Other Side of the Mountain)- a dry arid region-found in North Shoa zone of Amhara Regional State of Ethiopia, is in critical condition, suffering from water shortage for both human, livestock, and agriculture. Citizens like 34 year old Abebayehu Tarekenge , his wife Meseret Buta, and their 3 year old son Bereket Abebayehu, are one of many families struggling to generate income to survive. To provide for his family Abebayehu sells livestock, fruits and grain. Abebayehu who owns 58 sheep for fattening to sell on the market also generates income from selling surplus fruits like oranges and lemons. Abebayehu complains, " I would have to travel long distance with my camel to fetch water, and this took time away from all my farming activities. Since fetching water would take such a long time, I would get my livestock and crops to the market late, losing out on the best offers." So to alleviate the lack of water insecurity and to achieve economic development in Ethiopia, the Ethiopian Rainwater Harvesting Association, a local based NGO, backed with the financial support and guidance of the Chinese Foundation for Poverty Alleviation (CFPA), launched a program entitled the “Water Cellar Project”. This program was successful in constructing 40 rainwater harvesting cellars on the near grounds of residents' households. Now many families have a direct access to water for livestock, producing better quality/quantity crops, and sanitation. Having the RWH cellars allow for more time to participate in off-farm income generating activities like crafting. These measures help reduce poverty and promote development!
"With the rainwater harvesting cellar technology, I expect to produce better quality crops and livestock in addition to participating in off-farm income generating actives this season" -Abebayehu Tarekenge