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Apples in Atebes: Cultivating climate resilience in an Ethiopian village

Tsegay Wolde-Georgis, of the INSTAAR program Consortium for Capacity Building (CCB), is leading a project to introduce the cultivation of apple trees irrigated by water-filled, buried clay pots to the mountainous, dry region of Atebes, Ethiopia. Over the last 30 years, land degradation and climate change have exacerbated existing constraints of drought, soil erosion, deforestation, poor food supply consisting entirely of cereal grains, and lack of access to water.

The goal of the clay pot project is to improve the resiliency of the community to climate-related hazards through demonstration and capacity building. So far, the project has led not only to the cultivation of high-value fruits and vegetables, but to erosion control, improved water supplies, and new environmental management strategies for the area.

To keep this project going, donate through GlobalGiving. You will make a difference in the life of an entire community.

Students pitch in at the apple cultivation pilot site in Atebes. Photo by Tsegay Wolde-Georgis, July 2010.Students with clay pots at the pilot site in Atebes. Photo by Tsegay Wolde-Georgis, July 2010.The residents of Atebes take charge of young apple trees. Photo by Tsegay Wolde-Georgis, summer 2010.Planting apple seedlings around the clay pot reservoirs. Photo by Tsegay Wolde-Georgis, 2011.For many months of the year, women walked miles to retrieve water for household use and farming. Photo by Tsegay Wolde-Georgis, summer 2011.Citizens install the rooftop rain harvesting system at the pilot site. Photo by Tsegay Wolde-Georgis, 2011.Tsegay leans against the tank that collects water from the rooftop rain harvesting system at the pilot site. Photo by Tsegay Wolde-Georgis, 2011.Rev Kahsay tastes an apple for the first time. Photo by Tsegay Wolde-Georgis, February 2011.Tsegay stands with citizens of Atebes, with packets of vegetable seeds brought from McGuckin Hardware in Boulder, Colorado. Photo by Tsegay Wolde-Georgis.Villagers began growing vegetables as well as apple trees around clay pots. Photo by Tsegay Wolde-Georgis.Tsegay and a farmer inspect an established seedling. Photo by Tsegay Wolde-Georgis.Tsegay stands by the in situ water harvesting system that is helping revitalize local streams. Photo by Tsegay Wolde-Georgis.10th grade student Hiwot with her apple tree. Photo by Tsegay Wolde-Georgis, 2014.