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What can we really learn from the rift valley oasis-Humbo?

By Esubalew Dires

                                                           Humbo3

Climate change is one of the main challenges of mankind. Slimness of ozone layer, unpredicted rainfall, drought, drastic increment of temperature (global warming), drying of rivers, evaporation of oceans & lakes are all incidents that are frequently occurring across the world many times. Africa is also suffering a lot due to the smoke of big industries of developed nations. Thatís why the late prime minister of Ethiopia, Ato Meles Zenawi actively engaged on impacts of climate change at the global summits representing Africa. Nations with big industries emit carbon dioxide to the atmosphere; hence, they came to consensus to pay compensations which helps in the reduction of negative impacts. Moreover, itís agreed to strictly consider policy of carbon free & environmental friendly economic growth.

The prime focus of the Organization for Rehabilitation and Development in Amhara (ORDA) is on the development, proper management and utilization of natural resources. A project of ORDA at Debre Tabor called IFAD GUNA (CBIRed) Community Based Integrated Natural Resource Management is working on districts of Gayint, Estie and Farta. The project carried out achievements which could improve the livelihood of the poor community and farmers. In mount. Guna and its surroundings, the project has accomplished 22 watersheds in 12 kebeles. In those areas, dried springs are developed in particular in 6 model watersheds and farmers have started to get benefited from apple and horticultural productions.

In order to rehabilitate degraded lands and protect the area from erosion, more than 984m3 degraded areas were tied up with gabion (a soil conservation structure) and a fruitful soil and water management techniques were accomplished according to Mesafint Tesfa- a natural resource management officer at the project. Area closure has also been done for 15 hectares of land which results in benefiting farmers to supply forage for their livestock production. 31 Youths were organized to manage apple nursery. Hence, they have started earning over 22,000 birr from selling of seedlings. This project delivered more than 25,000 apple seedlings in those districts. Moreover, 2732 members were organized in 160 Village Saving Loan Groups (VSLG) and they saved & deposited 135,000 birr.

A wide array of adaptation options is available, but more extensive adaptation than is currently occurring is required to reduce vulnerability to climate change. As a result, the project built up 21 biogas for its compost, fuel and light uses in areas where there is no electricity in its three implementing districts. According to Ato Tekwo Moges IFAD GUNA project livelihood officer more than 3000 fuels saving stoves were offered in relation to resilience and mitigation of climate change.

Climate change adaptation and creation of a conducive environment for carbon trading is an activity of the project. A typical carbon trade investment was done by Humbo- located at the rift valley & a land where indigenous species trees are found at the Oasis. A group of concerned bodies from ORDA, IFAD GUNA project, zone officers, farmers and agricultural officers of Farta, Gayint and Estie districts visited Humbo for a learning experience from 3- 14 October 2014.. In this case, In Ethiopia, carbon trading was first started at Humbo district Wolayta zone in Southern Nations, Nationalities and peoples (SNNP). 

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Ato Abel Fenta natural resource officer at Humbo claimed the dense forest of Humbo and its surrounding was cleared by the people in the area. As a result, it was highly degraded & became a barren land. Ato Abel remarked degradation exposed the area to recurrent drought, flood, high storm, Crop failure, pollution reduction of biodiversity, loss of soil fertility and erosion. 

When the project was implemented, World Vision Ethiopia has organized awareness creation and rising workshops for the community & other concerning bodies. Proposed project area was also delineated to calculate Carbon stock and produce map of total project. From 2007 to 2009 more than 2 million seedlings were produced in the four nurseries established for growing seedlings and planted in selected 500 ha of plantation site and as well as on individual & community lands for woodlot and homestead areas. The Humbo (CDM- clean development mechanism) project was started in October 2006 with area coverage of 2,728 hectares of forest land in seven kebeles which includes Abela Longena, Abela Shoya, Abela Gefeta, Bossa Wanche, Bolla Wanche, Hobicha Bada, Hobicha Bongota kebeles. In line with Kyoto protocol, World vision contracted World Bank for carbon purchase and signed emission reduction purchase agreement for 30 years. Nowadays, amazingly, Humbo is covered with diversified species of flora and fauna. 

                                                Humbo5

Farmer Ergena Sorsa, a resident at Humbo district, is member of the Gamo Soledani Cooperatives since 1991. Farmer Ergena said, ďWe were not able to produce enough crops due to unpredictive rainfall and flood but now this history has come to an end by the afforestation activities done. According to Ergena farmers started to produce surplus crops and the environment looks green ever and the weather condition of Humbo becomes suitable.

More importantly, the money obtained from emission reduction purchase is deposited in bank to each Cooperatives. The deposited money is utilized to improve their livelihood sustainably which includes fattening, planting mills, store, micro credit services are to mention a few.

Farmers and officers of the visit explained the experience we got from the Southern region (Humbo) should be applied practically in our regional context. They promised to persuade neighboring farmers to delineate and get closed mount Guna for a carbon project. Generally, they are insisted to strengthen natural resource conservation works which enables the surrounding ever green.

 So, what can we really learn from the rift valley oasis- Humbo?

Last Updated (Monday, 20 October 2014 13:07)

 
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