Three Groenhorst teachers visit the Aeres project in Ethiopia
Recently, a team of three teachers of the Groenhorst school for vocational education and the Dutch project leader visited the Aeres-project in Ethiopia.
After their arrival at first they visited the Dutch embassy.
Alem Kiros, the project manager and Dutch ambassador, Mr Hans Blankenberg, discussed the transformation in Agriculture in Ethiopia.
This is their report:
From Addis Abeba it is a 60 kilometer drive to the south-east where Debre Zeyt is situated. We visit Passion Connects Ethiopia (PCE) and the new compound where the Vocational Training Center is built.
PCE’s goal is to train farmers, male and female, in on farm and off farm skills and activities. Currently a project with 24 farmers in de village Sirba itself is in progress. They also learn carpenter skills.
This activity is among others possible thanks to the financial support of the Bios programme of the European Platform to make education more international.
We also visit Mr. Behailu Wolde Belainesh, the former counterpart of the Dutch project leader. He is now a consultant to Passion Connects Ethiopia and offers valuable help and advises. He himself runs a agricultural business where 650 Ethiopians work and where they grow vegetables and keep cows and chickens.
In the surrounding area the government is drilling 160 wells. For the future this means that there will come into being a green spot of agricultural activity in which Passion Connects Ethiopia (PCE), our local partner, can play a major role and the Aeres Group can support them.
The water comes from 360 meter below the surface. It is crystal clear and quenches the thirst of men, animal and plants. At the moment it is the end of the dry season so everyone is looking for water: men and animals alike. You see herds of cows, sheep en goats roam the plains.
In the village of Sirba, PCE had drilled a well that goes 91 meters down. It provides water on a daily bases for 750 animals and their herdsmen. Every herdsmen pays a little amount of money to maintain the well. It took some time for all involved to learn that a continuous source of money is needed to maintain a watersource like this.
We visit one of the women who is involved in the Learn4Work program. Very proudly see shows us her beautiful allotment garden with which she maintains her family. Coffee trees en vegetables grown with the use of a drip irrigation make it possible for her to harvest tree vegetable crops a year.
She also shows us her cattle: she milks four cows and she gathers the manure in a reservoir. She mixes this with water and contains it in another vessel. The end result is a biogas installation which produces enough gas for her to cook on. This is her new kitchen, it’s marvelous.
In the same street there is another successful farmer. He had a well drilled and now sells the water to villagers and he provides a shower facility. He makes 300 Euro a month in this way.
If we compile these individual successes we know why it is so important to educate and train people!