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          Social and economic changes of Birara Zewdu

            Birara Zewdu
The Organization for Rehabilitation and Development in Amhara (ORDA) promotes crop production, livestock development, alternative income generating, maternal and child nutrition, market linkages and building resiliency and climate change adaptation activities.

In relation to this, IFNS project, through the support of CBM-Germany, aims to address fundamental causes of food insecurity and consequently improve the livelihood of 9 thousand vulnerable households including persons with disabilities.

A 38-years old man, Birara Zewdu, living in Ebenat woreda of Woneberoch Kebele at Akayna village is among beneficiaries of the project. He is physically impaired on his leg. The cause for his impairment is not known. He is the 7th child for his mother. However; six of his brothers and sisters died below the age of 5. Because of this reason, his mother frustrated and took him when he got sick at the age of three. In a nearby health center, fourteen injections were provided on one side of his leg. “My impairment wasn’t significantly observed until the age of 10 years,” he said. But, later, the incident grew up and became a person with disability.

He completed his 10th grade with low result in 2007 E.C due to a long distance travel, unfair social relation and work burden. Sooner than expected, he moved to Adama to seek for a job. Then, a private investor employed for vegetable production with 500 Eth Birr monthly. Sorrowfully, he exclaimed, “Persons with disability are more likely to be unemployed and face discrimination in the workplace.” Consequently, he returned back to his family and married W/ro Yezina Yirga in 2013. He constructed a small hut along the main road to Ebenat town after receiving 0.75 hectare land from his dad.

A small plot of land and low productivity made his life miserable. He said, “If you are poor and a person with disability, the depth of poverty becomes worse. Though, I was aspired to use agricultural inputs for irrigation, I couldn’t go any further.”

Then, the project lined up irrigation cannel structures and supported farmers (including Birara) with training and delivered improved crop varieties like wheat, teff and vegetables potato, onion and tomato. Project officers also closely follow-up and put into agronomic practices. As a result, he earned 66 thousand Eth Birr from irrigation in a single season in 2018/2019 and this was his turning point in his life.

After a period, “I had been requested from my colleague to join goat trading at large scale to Humera town, boarder of Sudan. For the first time, I bought 20 goats at Hamusit market (East Belessa district) and took to Humera together with my colleague and sold with a very attractive price,” he said.

Due to a good profit margin, Ato Birara submitted an application letter to Ebenat woreda office of trade and got a licensed business name entitled “Livestock wholesale trade at Akayna village with tax identification number 1099499700013.”

Birara together with his colleagues trade goats in truck to their market destination at least three times a year (Ethiopian New year, Christmas and Easter holidays.) During his travel, W/ro Yezina takes the overall responsibility of the farm and their family. With glad face, he repeatedly mentioned that the business is profitable.

In 2019, he separated family’s living house from livestock. He also bought television and constructed store (new building) for rent. He has bought additional ox for traction power. His total direct investment in 2019 is more than 86 thousand Birr. And has also more than ten thousand birr in his saving account.

Birara gratefully appreciates ORDA/CBM Inclusive Project. “Now, I am selected by the irrigation user community to lead the user association as a chairperson and I am a respected gentleman in the community. And the community has full confidence on me in manage the irrigation scheme as well as the association,” he said.

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