Kedir Haji, 37, married and with six children lives at Nursa Village some 140km east of the capital, Addis Ababa. He was feeding his family through rain fed agriculture. However, due to environmental change, the seasonal rain became more and more erratic and gradually it disappeared raining leaving Kedir and the rest of the community members to food shortages. The fate of Kedir and some other community members was to abandon the area in search of daily labor.
Life was not an easy task where he went. Sometimes he used to get a daily labor and some other time he did not. Besides, the income he earned from the on and off daily labor was so meager that it was not sufficient even to provide his children daily bread adequately. He says, “The three years that I passed out of my village was a struggle. The wages I earned was less than a dollar a day. Sending my children to school and medicating them when they were sick was inconceivable with the then income.”
River Awash flows crossing the area where Kedir abandoned. The river has a huge a potential for irrigation. However, it needed an irrigation motor pump that can draw the water out from the river to the farmland. In response to this, World Vision Ethiopia through Dry land development program organized the community into cooperatives, trained them on irrigation, and provided them with motor pump and local seed as of 2014.
Kedir returned home when he heard World Vision irrigation program and became one of the beneficiaries of the program. Registered under Duretijitu irrigation cooperative, he is now producing three times a year. He produces onion, tomatoes, cabbages and red paper and earns US$7,000 (150,000 Birr) a year.
Kedir is now self-sufficient. He has sent three of his school aged children to school and feeds them adequately. “Years before, providing them a meal a day and medicating them when they got sick was the biggest worries for me. But today, thanks to World Vision, I am able to feed my children as much as they can, medicate them when they get sick and send them to school fulfilling any of their school requirements,” happily explains Kedir.
Kedir has a good vision for his children. He says, “The future of my children life was the biggest worries of my life. Now that I have adequate and sustainable income, I would invest as much as I can and educate them to make them one of the most useful citizens for their country and for themselves.”
Beyond providing the basic necessity for his family, Kedir has begun to acquire an asset. He has bought 400 acres of a plot of land at Doni Town to construct a modern villa house. He also has saved more than US$1335 (30,000 Birr) in his bank account.
Kedir has a big dream. He says, “I see that this irrigation project is a lucrative business. The profitability of this business has sowed a seed of bright hope in my heart. I have a dream to expand irrigation business widely on my own and create job opportunity for my fellow countrymen and provide the product to both for the internal and external market.”
Story by: Aklilu Kassaye