The pattern of rainfall was erratic at Nurase Village for the last 10 years. It sometimes began raining late and left early and some other times it rained early and left early. In the last four years, it completely disappeared leaving the community in an entire food crisis. The people used to sell their asset to keep their family life. They were embraced in safety net program for years. They were also supported with relief food at times of severe food shortages.
Guye Shambu, married and with three children is one of the residents of this village. She was one of the victims of the food shortages. She says, “We have a fertile land and big river for irrigation around us, yet because we did not have money for purchasing a motor pump, we were not able to irrigate the river and we were affected by food shortages. Our children were exposed to hunger, we were unable to medicate our children when they got sick and we were not able to send them to school for lack of finance.”
Guye and the rest of the community were not happy in being dependent on the relief food and safety net program while having a fertile land and a potential river for irrigation. They all were aspiring to have their bread through their own hard work and sweat. “I was not feeling ok in leading my life through relief support at this time of my age. I was eager to struggle and win life and earn my own income through my own hand,” explains Guye.
Studying the potential of the river for irrigation and learning the suffering of the people from of lack of food, World Vision through dry land development program organized the community into eight cooperatives, provided them training on irrigation and supported them with a motor pump to help them produce through irrigation and be self-sufficient.
Guye is a member of Lega Defa irrigation cooperative. As the rest of her colleagues, she produces cash crops including onion, cabbage, tomatoes and maize three times a year. Now her family life is improved very well since then. She says, “Before providing them meal twice a day, purchasing school materials and garments were the biggest worries of my life, but now these things are the simplest ones to do for me for my children. Thanks to World Vision, my past worries with their worst misery memories have gone. I am now in better life with bright tomorrow.”
Guye’s little and narrow hut was obsolete and leaking. She has now built a new house. Her house was with no or little house utensils, but now she has equipped her house with all necessary house utensils. She has also bought motor cycle for public transportation and the motor cycle is generating US$90 (2,000 Birr) per month. She also has saved about US$3,000 (65,000 Birr) in her bank account which she said that she would reinvest it on farming in the next season.
Guye has a plan to further expand her farming activities. She says,” I have a plan to expand this irrigation work more and be a model to the other women around my villagers.”
Story by: Aklilu Kassaye