In Machakel in the Ethiopian Amhara region, the local community is at the heart of the forest restoration project. Indigenous trees are planted on community land, gullies, river banks and farmland. Fruit and timber trees are planted on farms. Training the local people is an important aspect of it: villagers learn new skills and are asked to share those new skills with other villagers in the surrounding villages. This “train the trainer” approach enables the entire community to start protecting and restoring their own forests.
The Hunger Project
Amhara National Regional State Bureau of Agriculture and Rural Development
Restore native forest
Restore degraded lands
Promote economic development
Increase food security
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Why is intervention needed?
With 85% of Ethiopia’s population engaged in agriculture, the level of deforestation for crops for firewood or charcoal is extreme, causing extensive soil erosion and the formation of gullies. As little as 6% of forest in Machakel remains today. As a result, soil fertility declines to such an extent that local people now struggle to grow crops and raise livestock. Our focus is reverse this trend and ensure alternative sources of fuel, shelter and income.
Poverty alleviation first
Today, one third of Ethiopia’s population is living below the poverty line. WeForest partners with the Hunger Project who re specialized in poverty alleviation.
Fruit and timber trees, apiculture, brick production, cooking-stove and fodder production offer additional income to diversify income streams in ways that ease pressure on the surrounding forest. We prefer to engage women and youths throughout our project activities, whenever possible in order to ensure the benefiting directly the most vulnerable among the communities.
Teach a man how to fish….
Using the “train the trainer” approach, “Animators” are trained in a variety of project activities from seeds collection to sustainable harvesting of non-timber forest products and are tasked with passing on training others. This efficient model serves to place leadership back into the hands of local people encouraging communities to become more resilient and self-reliant.