In the highlands of Ethiopia, Terrefe Tsega and dozens of other construction workers are loading rocks into wire cages.
Heavy flooding has washed away soil in an agricultural area of Ethiopia’s Amhara state – but members of the community are fighting back with a simple solution. In the highlands of Ethiopia, Terrefe Tsega and dozens of other construction workers are loading rocks into wire cages.
They are called gabions, and for farmers here they could be a vital weapon against the effects of climate change. “This work is about maintaining the gullies. First, we collect and prepare the stones; then we dig into the ground, and then we put in the gabions.” This is an area of Ethiopia’s northern Amhara state that used to be covered in farms.
But heavy flooding has washed away the soil – leaving farmers with less food to sell or feed to their families. The gullies are part of an irrigation system that directs the rainwater and traps soil.
“The benefit of our work for this community is that we are helping to save the environment from soil erosion and the youth from the community are getting employment and earning income to cover expenses.” Terrefe is employed by the Rural Poor Stimulus Facility.
It was set up by the International Fund for Agricultural Development to support rural communities hit by the global health crisis. For Terrefe it’s meant being able to help his community but he says the money he has earned has also changed his life – allowing him to buy sheep, chickens and clothes for his children.