ENEWSLETTER - september 2014


Yaregal and his son standing in his fully planted field irrigated by a canal

Building Canals in Ethiopia

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The rainy season in Ethiopia is June through August—and for the rest of the year, it can be very dry. With such an arid climate, it's difficult for plants to grow. Some Ethiopian farmers created canals to bring river water to their fields, but without the proper materials, many of these makeshift canals ended up not being effective.

Such was the case for a canal that cut through the barren hills of Achete Wonz village in Ethiopia, funneling water from a nearby river to the farm of Yaregal Eshetu, age 52. Unfortunately, the canal was made out of clay and had cracks. The amount of water getting to Yaregal's field was minimal, so he could only plant half his land, and mostly only during the rainy season.

Without a stable irrigation system, Yaregal planted chickpeas and corn, but could only harvest enough food to last for half of the year.
Yaregal, his wife Enanaw, and their four children were hungry and malnourished. He wanted to increase his crop production, but Ethiopia's mountainous terrain and his lack of money made it impossible to get water and materials for wells or better canals.

In 2012, Food for the Hungry (FH) and partners like you and the Organization for the Relief and Development of Amhara (ORDA), worked together to improve the health and food production for Ethiopian families living in Achete Wonz village and the surrounding areas.

Using cement, the canal was rebuilt to stop water from draining out so that a greater amount could get to Yaregal's field. This was one of many projects completed in 2013. FH and ORDA constructed 51 wells with piping to irrigate families' backyards. Also, 16 rivers and springs were diverted into canals for irrigation, bringing water to 603 acres of farmland, helping Yaregal and 3,873 people.

Yaregal was also given seeds to grow a variety of vegetables, like cabbage, onions and tomatoes, so he and his family could have a well-balanced diet. And as water came consistently into his field, Yaregal planted all of the land and increased his crop yields.

"I sold the surplus of vegetables beyond my family's consumption and am able to buy clothing and school supplies for my children," said Yaregal.

Now, Yaregal is on his way to learning more farming techniques, money management and other needed information to move his family out of poverty. This is the kind of difference partners like you are making around the world. You're bringing water to and inspiring hope in families who live with hunger every day.

Your support brings practical projects and hope to families struggling with food security around the world. Together, we are helping these families to provide for themselves.

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