ETHIOPIA: Church launches Irrigation Project to Boost Productivity

MEKI JUNE 24, 2016 (CISA) – The Catholic Church in Ethiopia last week launched a 3-million-Euro irrigation scheme project targeting 1,200 households.

Speaking at the inauguration ceremony of the project, the Apostolic Vicar of Meki, Bishop Abraham Desta said that development is not something that is achieved with one process but it is an ongoing effort that needs the united effort of all parties involved.

“Today we have inaugurated this irrigation scheme that will support about 1200 families using the water nature has provided to the community but the water has a potential to irrigate more land so after the inauguration we must start thinking about the expansion work and reaching more beneficiary households,” he said.

He added that the Church in Ethiopia always strives to achieve integral human development through her pastoral and development works and also by creating networks among the beneficiaries and the donor agencies.
The irrigation scheme has the potential to irrigate some 450 hectares of land. Constructed at Azezera Beredu Kebele of Arsi Zone, the project, which includes Women Saving and Credit Cooperative, has been implemented by the Ethiopian Catholic Church’s Social and Development Commission Coordinating Office of Meki (ECC SDCOM) in partnership with Oxfam Intermon.

At the same occasion, the representative of the FDRE Charities and Societies Agency, Mr Thomas appreciated the work of the ECC SDCOM’s efforts in supporting the rural community and assured the agency’s continued collaboration for further achievements.

“Our agency is always pleased when we witness the funds received from donor agencies are put to a good use for the development needs of the rural community. We commend the achievements of the Catholic Church in all her efforts for integral human development and we assure you of our continued collaboration,” said Mr Thomas.

Given the new structure, the community will be able to harvest more than three times of rainwater each year, significantly increasing the annual income of every beneficiary household as they now can produce enough food for market, beyond their own consumption.

For such a rural community, increased income would not only mean fewer burdens on women and children in a household but it would also allow children to attend school properly, making them more successful citizens. This in turn contributes to the growth of the community and the development of the country.

ECC SDCOM also known as Caritas Ethiopia is registered with the Ethiopia Charities and Societies Agency and works throughout the country through its Diocesan Coordination offices.

The local community is dependent on rain-fed agriculture for a living. Ethiopia experienced a severe drought early this year due to the El Nino phenomenon.

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