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members of




November 2017


Note from the Programme Manager

During the past year we witnessed many successes and are honored to continue to serve communities that are in the most need across Ethiopia. In a bid to better work as a joint office one of the major activities of the past year was the articulation of our Country Strategy Paper (CSP) that will be the bedrock of our activities in Ethiopia. Running from 2017 to 2021 we have outlined two core pillars that we will be focusing on for the next five years: Women’s Empowerment and Resilient Communities using a programme integration approach. The need for this transition was brought about through reflections on how to best approach emerging challenges and opportunities taking place in Ethiopia and how we engage with our three headquarters. One of the key pillars of the country programme will be women’s empowerment both as an outcome and as a means to the other resilient

community programme. The programme envisages that women are participating in formal and informal decision-making at the individual, household, and community level. Women will have increased access and control over diversified incomes, increased confidence and self-esteem, as well as improved decision-making and negotiating abilities. Men will proactively support their partners in equally participating in household level decision-making including access to and use of diversified incomes. In addition, community members, leaders, duty bearers, and change agents will actively support women in participating in decision-making at the community level. CST has secured funds from Irish Aid for this programme for the next five years. Creating resilient communities by integrating the humanitarian and livelihood components in one and using women empowerment as a cross cutting theme will be the second key pillar of our intervention. This is in response to the recent spate of humanitarian crises mostly brought about by climate change. On the humanitarian front we continue to meet the needs of communities hard hit by the crises. This year our goal is to reach some 500,000 individuals. This will also include looking towards strengthening our partners’ capacities in meeting the ever growing humanitarian crises in the country. Particularly through our localization of Aid/Shifting the Power Project we have worked towards increasing the role of our local partners in humanitarian actions both in terms of building their capacities as well allowing them to work on networking and creating linkages with like minded stakeholder. CST is also planning to build the capacity of its

staff and Partners on the concepts of women empowerment, resilience building, and organizational capacity and is going to promote evidence based research that will support us to raise more funds. I wish to thank our partners, donors and our staff for the dedication they have shown in 2009 E.C. The joint office is fortunate to have such a wonderful, positive and engaged community which sincerely believes in our common mission. With heartfelt thanks, Teamrat Belai, Programme Manager Editorial Team Conor Molloy, CST Country Representative Samson Haileyesus, CST Communication Officer Photos: Samson Haileyesus Layout: Samson Haileyesus ‘CST-Together’ is a quarterly magazine for CST Together staff, CST headquarters staff, oversight management team (JAGG-the Joint Agency Governance Group), local partners, and international development partners. CST Magazine: round-up news, success stories, interviews and updates from CAFOD, SCIAF and Trócaire (CST Together) Address: CAFOD / SCIAF / Trócaire P O Box 1875, Addis Ababa, Gulele Subcity, Swaziland Street, Enqulal Fabrika, Ethiopian Catholic Bishops Conference Centre Tel: +251-(0)11-278-8843/44/45 Fax: +251-(0)11-278-8846 Email: Website: / /

Note from Eoin Wrenn, Head of Region Horn and East Africa (Trócaire) and member of the Joint Agency Governance Group (JAGG) I have recently returned from a visit to south Ethiopia to witness first hand CST’s and our partners’ response to the current drought that has devastated the lives of so many people across the region. Despite having been to Ethiopia numerous times this was my first time to travel to the very south of the country. It was a privilege to travel through Southern Nations, Nationalities, and Peoples’ Region (SNNPR) down to South Omo in the very south. Despite the extreme hardships that hundreds of thousands of people in the area are facing we were met with great warmth and hospitality in Hamer, Dassanech, Tsemay and Bela communities in South Omo. At times I felt I was in a National Geographic documentary given the ever-changing topographies and landscapes, the diversity of the different ethnic groups in South Omo with their own languages, rich cultures, colourful clothing, imaginative jewellery and hair-raising war cry songs and dance. What was very striking about South Omo was how barren much of the area was. Riverbeds were parched and despite this being a pastoralist area we often drove for miles and miles without seeing a single cow. It soon became apparent why this was the case. Community after community spoke of nothing only the death of livestock and how their livelihoods have been destroyed as a result of their losing their livestock. Every family we spoke to had lost cattle, from the more well off pastoralist who had 300 cows before the drought but was now left with 10, to those that only had 10 cows before the drought but were now left with one. It was very clear that people have been traumatised by the loss of so many livestock and that their outlook for the future is bleak. One Tsemay man asked me “now that our livestock have died are we next?” CST’s response to this is a very definite “no”. Together with our partners the Diocese of Sodo and SCORE, and in collaboration with the local government, we are supporting some of those most at risk in South Omo with food aid, emergency livestock feed and cash for work. While our support is limited, it is making a difference while people wait for the next rains. Unlike other parts of the country there is a dearth of NGOs operating in South Omo making our support all the more important to help people cope with the crisis. Trócaire is holding a national church appeal in Ireland in late July to raise additional

funds for the drought response across the Horn and East Africa region which has left up to 24 million people in need of humanitarian assistance. Some of the funds secured will be allocated to southern Ethiopia, to help CST address ongoing humanitarian needs and to meet communities’ recovery and rehabilitation needs once the immediate crisis ends. The people of South Omo are a proud and resilient people. They know how to cope with and recover from drought but such is the severity of this drought, children, women and men will need our ongoing support to recover from the huge losses and trauma that the drought has inflicted on them.

C on t e nts


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1 News in brief 9 Self Help Group Breaking Barriers within Communities 14 South Omo Elders take Inspiration from Peace Building efforts from Borana Communities 18 Water Points Bringing a Sense of Permanency for Pastoralist Communities 20 Conservation Agriculture: Making it easy for Small Holder farmers to increase Yields 22 Climate Change Resilience Project looks to raise Women Economic Engagement

Ne w s in br i ef

CST Provides Humanitarian Leadership Training to Executive Directors of Local and National NGOs In order to enhance the emergency preparedness and response capacity of local and national partners, CST, under the Shifting the Power Project and in partnership with RedR UK, organized a four days Humanitarian Leadership Training and exposure visit in Nairobi Kenya from 18-22 September 2017. The training focused on the humanitarian operations, management and leadership issues and challenges in the sector. The training drew together 13 executive directors and program managers from national NGOs in Ethiopia, together with two Shifting the Power staff from CST. Attendees also visited Caritas Isiolo, a local partner of Shifting the Power Kenya, to share learnings and experiences in the journey of Shifting the Power. Participants report that the training has helped them to identify key themes of humanitarian leadership and practice, understanding of leadership, and familiarity with tools and techniques to improve decision making and problem solving skills in humanitarian situations. The training has also helped partners to share experiences and establish working relationships to further strengthen and promote the localization agenda in Ethiopia.


Livestock Emergency Guidelines and Standards (LEGS) Training Provided to Partners A Livestock Emergency Guidelines and Standards (LEGS) training was held in a bid to build capacity to support the saving of livestock based livelihoods of communities affected by natural disasters. The 3-day LEGS training was held on from May 15 to May 17 ,2017 in Yabello town and from May 19 to May 21 2017 in Moyale town. Both trainings were conducted for local partners and representatives from the district’s animals and fisheries bureau in southern Ethiopia. While Ethiopia battles residual needs from the 2015/2016 El Niùo-induced drought, below average 2016 autumn rains in the southern and south eastern parts of the country has brought with it a new humanitarian crisis in 2017. Failed rains have led to drought affecting over 8.5 million people in these Trainees at Yabello town regions of Ethiopia, resulting in critical shortages of water and pasture in pastoralist areas. This has led to a sharp deterioration in the condition of livestock, and to livestock deaths in many places. To put the severity of this drought into perspective, rainfall totals between June 2016 and May 2017 were the first or second lowest in the past 36 years in many areas, including in Southern and South Eastern Ethiopia. In May this year in Borana, an additional 135,577 vulnerable people suffered from acute food insecurity. All 13 districts of the Borana Zone of South western Ethiopia have been severely affected by late April with 379,251 livestock, amounting to 40-50 per cent of livestock, dying due to lack of pastures and water. This has forced vulnerable households to migrate out of their villages in search of pasture and water leaving be2

hind women, children and the elderly without protection from further sufferings. The participants were exposed to the LEGS four-stage approach to responding to livestock emergencies, identification of appropriate livelihood-based livestock interventions in emergency response, and design with implementation response interventions according to LEGS standards and guidelines. The training was conducted by CST’s Humanitarian Coordinator, Mandefro Aynalam. “The aim of the training is to equip partners to provide a standardised as well as quality humanitarian response”, said Mandefro. Representatives from CST’s partners Community InitiaTrainees at Moyale town tives Facilitation and Assistance (CIFA), SOS SAHEL, Action for Development (AFD) and district livestock and fisheries bureaus staff attended the training. The LEGS training is part of the effort to make the livestock sector more resilient to the impacts of climate change in Borana. LEGS are a set of international guidelines and standards for the design, implementation and assessment of livestock interventions to assist people affected by humanitarian crises, such as natural disasters. The LEGS training is intended for agencies — NGOs, multi-lateral agencies and governments — that implement emergency interventions in disaster areas where livelihoods are derived from livestock. In 2017 CST and partners are planning to reach 500,000 people with livestock support (fodder, water and veterinary services), cash transfers, and access to clean water and sanitation in the most drought affected areas in the south of the country. CST is currently working in Borena in all 13 woredas (districts) which are classified as hotspot priority 1 woredas; South Omo zone within its five lowland woredas categorised as a hotspot priority 1 woredas, South Tigray where 6 priority 1 hotspot woredas are identified, as well as in Afar Zone 2, which contains 3 hotspot priority one woredas. . 3

A Step Towards Localization of Aid: National NGOs Humanitarian Forum launched

The Shifting the Power (StP) project in Ethiopia is supporting local NGOs to have systems, skills and policies for quality humanitarian intervention. Along with capacity building, StP has linked national NGO partners with different networks and coordination to create a venue for advocacy and in order to gain benefits of these platform. The project witnessed tangible changes at devolved networks and coordination. LNGOs which were not taking part in the humanitarian taskforces, have become members and in some cases some have even taken up the post of secretaries in some districts. The devolved government and district level INGOs acknowledged their contribution and considered them as important humanitarian partners. Despite the aforementioned glimpse at the lower coordination, bringing the voice and influence of LNGO to the national level, where most decisive deci4

sions are concentrated, is still a challenge. In Ethiopia, among other things, a main challenge that hinders NNGOs to engage in humanitarian interventions is access to funds. For instance, big, in-country donors’ requirement of having a foreign currency bank account, contradicts with the mandates of NNGOs (as per the directive of the National Bank prohibits LNGOs from having such accounts). As these and similar decisions are made at the national level, it calls for the same level of advocacy. Unlike the district level, there should be a collective voice to challenge the system as the influence of individual NNGOs has not so far brought much change. To this end the project discussed with the Consortium of Christian Relief & Development Associations (CCRDA) on how best to bring NNGOs’ voice to national level decisions and the concept of having the national hu-

manitarian forum is found to be viable. The project provided financial and technical support, including a designated professional staff to facilitate the launch of the Forum and to design a system for sustainability. The Forum was launched on September 7, 2017. The launching event saw members raising a number of challenges due to decisions beyond their reach. Access to funds was the major challenge mentioned, followed by access to information and working space, which significantly hinder almost all NNGOs to have meaningful participation in humanitarian intervention. The challenges are often related to the government and donors and attendees said it was beyond the efforts of each NNGO to solve. Members then unequivoDr. Meshesha Shewarega, Executive Director of cally agreed to establish and launch the national humanCCRDA speaking at the launch of the Forum itarian forum. They selected six members as an interim steering committees (interestingly, almost all members were willing to be part of the committee) to facilitate the initial agendas until a formal steering committee comes into place. The main theme of the Forum, as agreed by the members include, but not limited to: • Strengthening and capitalize on the good relationship between INGOs and NNGOs on humanitarian related partnership and coordination. Having strategic alliance to create synergy of roles in humanitarian intervention. Evidencing the comparative advantage of INGO and NNGO on working in partnership and advocate for that. • Constructive engagement and dialogue with government and donors for creating enabling environment o For NNGO to fully operate in humanitarian interventions o And for global aid initiative, particularly for the localization of aid related agendas, to be a good platform to function in the country. • Having the country definition for localization of aid in line with the global concepts and initiatives and advocate (nationally and globally) for the realizations for this initiatives. 5

Local Partners receive training on Funding for Emergences CST under its Shifting the Power (StP) project conducted a training workshop from June 12 to June 15th for local partners on funding for emergencies. The workshop was held at Adama town for CST’s 10 national partners under the StP project. The training aimed at equipping CST’s ten local partner organizations under the StP project working on humanitarian actions to build their capacities on donor mapping and engagement, effective donor relationship and proposal development. Speaking about at the training Challa Gidisa, Project officer for the START project, noted that the training was crucial for partners to compare notes on their interventions as well as take lessons on how to better address emerging challenges and opportunities related to humanitarian actions in Ethiopia. Shifting the Power (StP) project is funded by the Department for International Development (DfID) through the Disaster and Emergencies Preparedness Programme (DEPP) and aims to contribute for a more acceptable balance between international and local responses to disasters. The project works to enhance local NGOs’ capacities for better decision-making and leadership; achieve better representation and voice; and recognition in humanitarian system. At the same time it works to influence international organisations to support and promote the work of local and national organisations. StP works in five project countries: Ethiopia, Kenya, DRC Bangladesh and Pakistan by supporting 55 LNGO partners. Shifting the Power project is implemented through a consortium approach: a consortium of 6 INGOs (CAFOD, Concern, Tear Fund, Oxfam, Christian Aid, and Action Aid) and CAFOD is the lead in Ethiopia. Each consortium INGO member has local NGO partners to support and in total ten local NGOs are targeted in Ethiopia. 6

Snapshot of current emergency in Ethiopia • • Poor belg rains (February -May) affected households’ food security in belg-dependent woredas of Oromia and SNNP regions. As a result, Southern and eastern Ethiopia continue to battle the impact of the Indian Ocean Dipole-induced drought, exacerbated by disease outbreaks, large scale loss of livelihood assets and displacement. • The start of the March to June 2017 rains was delayed by 10 to 40 days across the region, • Cumulative total rainfall between March 1 and May 31 were less than 70 percent of average in much of south eastern and southern Ethiopia •To put the severity of this drought into perspective, rainfall totals between June 2016 and May 2017 were the first or second lowest in the past 36 years in many areas, including in Southern and South Eastern Ethiopia.

• 8.5 m people are in need of emergency food right now • 2.25 million households will require livestock support •3.6 m children and pregnant and lactating mothers require supplementary feeding • 10.5 m people will not have regular access to safe drinking water

CST’s response

As a network of Catholic agencies – CAFOD, Trócaire and SCIAF work through and with Catholic Church and local NGO partners, with communities and local government, who understand and know the context well delivering humanitarian support to 500,000 individuals. CST is supporting different emergency response projects in Borena wherein all 13 woredas are classified as priority 1 woredas; South Omo zone within it s5 lowland woredas are categorised as a hotspot priority 1 woredas, and South Tigray where 6 priority 1 hotspot woredas are identified as well as in Afar Zone 2 that contains 3 hotspot priority one woredas.


CST’s interventions I. Livelihood Protection Support.

• To prevent and control occurrences and spread of livestock diseases, the joint office, in collaboration with its partners, continues to provide veterinary services through para vets as well as through government led vaccination campaign through logistics supports in the operational areas.

• Livestock feed, such as sugar cane, hay and concentrates, has been provided to drought affected households with the aim of protecting core breeding stocks.

• So far, over 85,305 (41,799 M, 43,506 F) individuals have benefited from CST’s livelihood protection support. From this, 57,888 individuals are receiving mass immunisation services for major drought- caused livestock diseases such as Contagious Bovine Pleuropneumonia (CBPP) and Certified Veterinary Pain Practitioner (CVPP). An estimated 27,417 (13,434 M and 13,982 F) have accessed treatment services for internal and external parasites, antibacterial disease and rumen proper physiology-multivitamins. • A total number of 236,722 heads of livestock owned by 85,305 individuals have received treatment and vaccination services from the project interventions. II. Emergency Food Security • CST is addressing the emergency food security programme through conditional and unconditional cash transfers. So far this year CST has reached 35,709 (17,497 M, 18,212 F) individuals. On top of this, in Gamo Gofa Woreda, 672 individuals have received food ration as per set and agreed relief package standards. III. WaSH • With an existing Water, Sanitation and Hygiene programme at Afar Zone 2, the joint programme office reached 5,500 people affected by drought through awareness raising on hygiene and sanitation and the provision of sanitary and hygiene materials. Due to this, the community has constructed household latrines and have changed their sanitation and hygiene practice. Additionally, a water pipeline has been extended, water points maintained and new bore holes constructed to benefit 10,000 individuals. 8

F e atu re s

Self Help Group breaking barriers within communities The remote village of Wukari 1 village in the Maale district of South Omo would seems an unlikely place in which one would find women forming Self Help Groups, taking leadership positions, participating and influencing key decisions affecting their lives, and benefiting from increased income generation. Three years ago women in Wukari 1 had no informal right to the finances or management of their households. Home to 48 households, much of the village is made up of poor households engaged in subsistence farming. The majority struggle with poverty. Life is especially difficult for the women who are already marginalized. The prevalence of polygamy and other harmful traditional practices affecting women and girls in the area have further eroded what little rights women had within the household. It was often a common practice that a mother who had recently given birth would be entirely secluded from the entire household and would be housed in a shed outside the household. She would be deemed unclean along with the child until the child would be initiated within the rites of the community. Upon any contact with livestock utensils would be immediately destroyed. Besides the exclusion, mother and children would be exposed to the elements and disease. Very often in patriarchal societies men are privileged in many ways that often perpetuates discrimination in access to opportunities for women. Addressing gender

inequality requires positive discrimination in favour of women (affirmative action). It was against this background that the “Enhancing the Social and Economic Empowerment of Women in Jinka Administrative Town and Maale District’s women empowerment project” was initiated by CST and Women Support Association (WSA). Part of the project included encouraging group discussions with key traditional and law enforcement agen-


cies. It also included savings and loans schemes that provided a powerful means of access to low levels of finance for not only daily needs, but also to bring about increased social capital and community organization among women. When CST and WSA set out to carry out the project in Wukari 1 village, the requirement was that 20 women would form a group with their family’s approval, must participate in a series of trainings and meetings. Women would also be required to save regularly in the established Self Help Groups (SHG); where they can access loans and engage in different income generating activities; participate in family dialogues and community conversations; and set up community action groups to support victims of violence. At first the men showed resistance towards allowing their wives to join an all-women’s group. Their decision was backed by traditions that any savings by women would amount to a wasted venture. “My husband who works within the kebele (ward) administration though was knowledgable about the benefits of a women’s self help group initially was resistant to the idea fearing ridicule from his friends had prevented me from joining. Iniitaly I had enrolled without his permission. “We women according to tradition would have to prostate before our husbands even while serving them meals. But slowly he turned around, seeing that I am earning the family income and bettering the house-


The prevalence of negative traditional beliefs had relegated women’s roles in the household to only serve their husbands, according to Mariam hold. Now he not only encourages me to go to the meeting but also offers to pay for my monthly contribution if he suspected that I was short of money”, said Mariam Siri who is a member of the Nash Erqo Self Help Group established in September 2014.

Her husband had even refused to give her the two birr minimum weekly savings. However, six months later he offered to give her 60 ETB to put into her savings. The women meet every Saturday at 7:00 am in the morning first to discuss developments in the village and then collect the weekly contributions. The group initially started with a weekly savings of two birr by each member and later on raised their savings to 5 ETB, which is raised now to 10 ETB. “Initially from the group I took a loan of 700 ETB to cover some household items and buy school supplies for my children. After repaying my loan I have started a business venture by buying onions and other produce wholesale in the town market and sell it in retail at the village market making a small profit. I have saved 680 ETB so far�, said Mariam. Like Mariam, others too have embarked in businesses with some even entering a second or third cycle of loans to further expand their enterprises. The loan scheme from the group provides start up capital for petty trade and animal fattening. An interest of two birr is levied for every 100 ETB taken as loan to be paid within six months. The group has a total of 24,018 ETB capital from savings amounting to 13,603 ETB, income from interest at 350 ETB, 247 ETB from penalties and 9,818 ETB from fundraising. Fundraising comes through payment for voluntary labour provided by the women locally called Debo in exchange for weeding

Ayseto Bogale now sees women are treated with respect and dignity in her village and clearing pastures along with the men. “The family dialogues really helped in having our husbands turn around and allow us to enter into the Self Help Group. Now because of the changes in our


households more and more women are asking to join our group, but we have already filled our quota. “Those who initially refused to join our group fearing backlash from their husbands now are asking us to join. They have seen the changes here and we also want them to be part of this good change” said Ayseto Bogale. “In the past we were treated no less than as dogs; today women when going into labour, we [the Self Help Group] make sure that an ambulance comes and takes her to the health centre. This is a great departure from staying at home alone in a shed. Women not only get treatment during labour but also get treatment while pregnant. And after giving birth, the woman is well taken care of and has her group members come and support her by giving her gifts. “Before while pregnant we were forced to do all household chores including fetching water carrying three jerry cans (each with a capacity of 20 litres). Now we take care good care of ourselves and avoid hard chores”, added Tsidiko Tek . The men, too, are now supporting the Group, offering to share in the household chores after attending family dialogues sessions. “I used to be very reluctant in allowing my wife to go to the self help group. But things have changed. We did not know that what we were doing was abusing our women. We just followed the traditions of our forefathers, now that we are educated we see our wives as 12

Women now have access to health care services and the Group helps out according to Tsidiko Tek our partners and pitch in to help in the household chores. “I now help out with the household tasks. During the days where she has meetings I take the initiative to wake up the children, make breakfast, clean the house

and even make coffee. It is not something shameful to work in the household but a lack of education that has held us back for a long time. What we are doing is lessening the burden of our wives”, said Nohe Demisse. Emboldened by the economic enhancement, the women also started taking keen interest in social issues and actively participated in the village development works. The local authorities have also gone on board and are working towards protecting women from abuse. “In the past we used to be hit by our husbands, we did not know where to go to have it stopped. Now we know where to go and press charges. If any woman is hit we will go and file a complaint at the local authorities. We will have the woman treated in the clinic and will either resolve the issue either through Community Action Groups (CAG), a fine or in extreme cases with imprisonment. If a woman is afraid to file complaints we as a group will file on her behalf. We also do the same for men who abuse alcohol”, said Echu Dessie, head of the area’s women’s affairs office. Besides bringing equity within the household the project has allowed the women to look further to future by enrolling in adult education schemes as well as joining credit unions to further access bigger loans to set up larger enterprises. The group is now looking towards setting up a mill in the village to cut travel to the town to have their own grain mill, which will not only provide constant income, but will cut travel time to town. SHGs, which are a women’s only gathering, not only

Due to the positive changes within the household husbands like Nohe Demisse now support their wives helping out in household chores provide the members with an opportunity to carry out economic activities but also discuss and partake as active players in the village’s social and economic situations. But most importantly, SGHs are giving women a sense of power, and with their own money the Groups are becoming self-sustaining.


South Omo Elders take inspiration from peace building efforts from Borana communities Elders from the three ethnic groups of the South Omo, namely Dasenech, Hammer and Nyangatom, are looking towards putting in place common modalities aimed at curbing the cycle of violence and cattle rustling among the three ethnic groups. Complex, interlinked and rapidly evolving circumstances stemming from competition for water, livestock, pasture, culture/tradition of killing for heroic acts, and the environment exasperated with climate change has continued to cause violent conflicts between the three ethnic groups of Dassenech, Hammer and Nyangatom for generations. The project dubbed Community-based Conflict Transformation and Peace Building in South Omo is being co-implemented by CST and Apostolic Vicariate of Sodo (Omorate Catholic Church). Inspired by a recent experience sharing trip whereby elders of the three tribes made a visit to Borana, the elders are upbeat at making sure that they too could bring lasting peace among their communities. The experience sharing trip was held in mid-June in Moyale where the elders from the three communities took insights on peace initiatives among the Borana, Gabra and Guji clans. Reflecting on the experience sharing trip, Aremor who is a tribal chief among the Dasenech in Naika village, feels that the bloodletting among the communities needs to end. “I have a scar that shows that I had killed a man some twenty six years ago. That was the first time that I killed. They came and attacked the village seeking to steal some cattle I was shot in the arm, I fell, he probably looking to finish me off he stood over me Aremor now believes the days of bloodletting


needs to end

and that is when I shot and killed him. I do not want conflict I have opened my eyes and I am now seeking peace”, said Aremor. In 2014 Aremor also experienced a loss of his own when his son was killed in a skirmish. “I was saddened with the loss of my son. I said I will not avenge his death and will not allow anyone to avenge on my behalf. I said let it end with the death of my son. I want the cycle of hate to end”, said Aremor. Despite sporadic cattle rustling no loss of lives have occurred since 2015 between the communities, although with the ongoing drought scarcity of pastures and water threaten the shaky truce. “To prevent a further of cycle of killings we recover cattle stolen from other communities and put them in a separate shed and look to mediate their return to their rightful owners, said Birye Kara. “We have modalities within the community where we fine those from within our community that steal cattle from others, rape or even kill. We would like to have similar agreed modality with other communities to prevent others from going down that path. “We have heard that they [the three communities in Borana] inter marry this solidifying their ties which in return has prevented further conflicts as they have now become kin, we would like to see that here as well”, continued Birye. Lukaba Kina from the Nyangatom community in Shenkora village for his part states that, “Water is a common source of conflict. When we go out in search of water and

go and water our cattle they (the other tribes) come and tell us this is our water and you cannot take water here. Then they move their settlements and cattle further away which is sign of an impending attack or future cattle rustling we then prepare ourselves for the attack”. “Everyone knows the problem we need to make sure peace reigns. We need to bring the experience from Moyale here. All three ethnicities need to come up with common bylaws and Birye Kara is looking towards implement them im- more dialogue and ties among mediately. We have the communities fences all around the village fearing attacks”, said Fankas Dokrima. “We have seen with our own eyes and heard through our own ears. There are lots of cattle and lots of people roaming freely. They told us that they are in this situation because there are no conflict. They told us that they had reigned in their youth who were prone to violence


through instituting traditional penalties. We have fences all around our villages because of the fear of violence and cattle stealing. If we had peace we would not need the fences”. said Roperto Romelon. The communities know too well that decades of insecurity have taken a toll on the communities. Constant fear of attacks have forced communities to work focus more on repelling attacks rather work towards building their livelihoods. Bole from the Hammer tribe in Turmi said: “From what we saw in Moyale we understood very well that we can bring peace to our area. We can have the peaceful return of stolen cattle. Our problem is that we did not have education on how to make peace. Now we know there is a possibility”. “In the past the communities in Borana had conflict like us. But now there is peace. There is no fear of attacks, cattle roam freely and women and children go about their daily business without fear. We too can have that if we all work together”, added Shalla. The elders of the three tribes noted that there is much to be learned from the experiences in Borana. They also welcome all efforts to further bring all three tribes together to this effect the three communities in August had a youth festival in Kuraz town to further solidify relations.

Water is often the source of conflict in the area according to Lukaba Kina


The project aims at enhancing peace building and conflict transformation skills among the communities through established peace committees through dialogues, forums, trainings and experience sharing; organize and strengthen grassroots peace building institutions with representation from women, youth and elders; and strengthen early warning system to mitigate occurrence of violent conflict

Having a shared modality on how to punish perpetrators of conflict is key according to Roperto (left) and Fankas (right)

From left to right: Shalla and Bole now see dialogue can lead to lasting peace based on the experience of the Borana communities

through the establishment of joint peace committee between three districts. The peace building project is being undertaken three districts in South Omo Zone in Dassanesh(10 villages), Nyagatom(four villages) and Hammer (four villages).


Water Points bringing a sense of Permanency for Pastoralist Communities Welino Mahi is a local administration head as well as liaison between the community of Hiywete village and the local government. He is also a beneficiary of a CST water point rehabilitation project. Welino has lived in the area for the past four years with is young family of three children. “Life for the Afar is often precarious we are often engage in a game of wits with nature. We have to not only predict where we can get pastures and water for our herds but also anticipate droughts and flash floods. When there are no rains we depend on rivers, when rains come we dig small wells to help store water during lean rainy season. “The water project has really changed our perspective. We now do not need to anticipate crises like drought and people getting sick from polluted water. Our women folk get access to water within 20 to 30 minutes”, said Welino. Each water point has a committee that manages the use of water. They help allocate time of use and the committees also act as trainers for hygiene and sanitation practices. Through the water point rehabilitation project CST and the Mekelle branch of Adigrat Diocese Catholic Secretariat (ADCS), itself a branch of the 18

Welino Mahi, seeing that days of wandering about for pasture and water are coming to an end

ECC-SDCO, underground water is pumped using a generator and stored up in mountain tops. The water is then channelled through pipes using gravity to water points located in settlements. “My generation and those before mine lived in constant movement not knowing if our next settlement would be feasible. We were always on the fringes now I think my children can look forward to a more stable life”, said Welino. Welino and the community now have a chance of thriving with prospects of having a permanent residency at Hiywete. “Water is very important to us without it we simply cannot exist. With clean water now available for us we do not fall sick, our herd have water and we are looking towards planting orchards and gaining additional income. We extend our gratitude to people who support us to have this clean water”, remarked Welino.

Rehabilitated shallow wells have now started providing water to communities

In the past lack of potable water would mean communities would drink from open and contaminated water sources exposing them to kidney and water borne disease. Due to the pastoralist way of life getting sick could easily mean death as search for pastures and water would leave one several kilometres from the nearest health centre. A prolonged drought from 2015 has meant even longer treks for water and further burdens on communities. 19

Conservation Agriculture: Making it easy for small holder farmers to increase yields Belaynesh Bacho is a 46 year old mother of seven children (three boys and four girls). She lives in the village of Genta Meyche kebele some 11 kilometres from the university town of Arba Minch.

Where once, one would have to plough the farmstead three to four time before sowing, conservation agriculture has now allowed Belaynesh to plough her farm with only a hoe, yet also to see improved yields on her farm.

Belaynesh has a one hectare plot of land in which she grows maize and teff twice a year. In addition she has a small vegetable production which she uses both for the family’s food source as well as sells surplus to buy essentials.

Through the use of mulch she has reduced the painstaking task of ploughing, weeding as well as helped retain moisture in her soil the latter coming handy in light of persistent shortages of rainfall being experienced in Ethiopia due to late and scarce rainfall.

Without another grown adult in the household to help plough the family’s land she has often found it difficult to produce the required 10 quintals (1 quintal = 100 kilograms) of cereals that will help feed the family throughout the year. As a result, her family’s annual cereal production had reduced to only 3 quintals.

The evidence is stated in the amount of produce Belaynesh stands to gain come late mid October.

Thanks to the introduction of conservation agriculture Belaynesh was introduced to an innovative method of planting cereals with minimal labour. Conservation Agriculture (CA) aims to achieve sustainable and profitable agriculture and subsequently aims at improved livelihoods of farmers through the application of the three conservation agriculture principles: minimal soil disturbance, permanent soil cover and crop rotations. Conservation agriculture holds tremendous potential for all sizes of farms and agro-ecological systems, but its adoption is perhaps most urgently required by smallholder farmers, especially those facing acute labour shortages. 20

“I used to produce a maximum of three quintals a season now because of the conservation agriculture I stand to gain five to six quintals which has really increased my land’s productivity. “I am very satisfied with the results as this experience has allowed me not only to be self reliant in the production of cereals on my land but has a virtuous cycle on my land as the land continues to get not only essential nutrients but also improved productivity. I am very confident in the way things work and would also like to volunteer to teach other women on the benefits of conservation agriculture”, said Belaynesh. Like Belaynesh, many by just digging pits for planting called planting station in conservation agriculture term, using manure for fertilizer and laying down corn stalks

for mulch, farmers are doubling and even tripling their yields. Belaynesh has now disavowed the use of chemical fertilisers as she now calms the mulch is enough to replenish the soils fertility together with the application of manures and composts. Belaynesh is also a member of the local Savings and Internal Lending Community (SILC) called Orza women group where she saves about 72 ETB for the last six months. She further explained that being a member of such activities is a means for her and other beneficiaries to engage in other business activities other than agriculture. Prior to implementing conservation agriculture Belaynesh was given training on soil preparation, weeding, the importance of mulch. She was also provided with a hoe, spade, bush knives and sickle to help her in the production. By way of a start up she was also provided with three kilos each of maize ad haricot beans. In order to enrol within the project beneficiaries are required to set aside a plot of land and willing to learn and implement the training on their plots.

Conservation Agriculture is now allowing families like Belaynesh to increase their yeilds by two folds Zygyte Perasso, Lakka, Zygyte Baqolle, Ganta Meyche and Dega Ochollo.

This support comes through the Livelihood Enhancement by Promoting Conservation Agriculture (CA) project aimed at increasing and diversifying of incomes of households and increasing agricultural production and productivity being co-implemented by CST and the Spiritan Community Outreach Ethiopia (SCORE) through the support of the Canadian Catholic Organization for Development and Peace. The project has targeted 1,600 small farmers residing in five kebeles namely


Climate change resilience project looks to raise women economic engagement Kaliti Kiya is a twenty five year old resident of Flo-Romsa. She has five children, four boys and one girl. She is currently a member of the control committee of the Jirena Credit and Saving Cooperative (JCSC) established in February 2014.The Cooperative provides saving and credit services to its 36 members. It also collects interest from loans provided for business start up and expansion among the members. Since establishment, the members have contributed saving and distribute loan to their members on a revolving basis. Prior to joining the cooperative Kaliti was given training on savings and credit and business plans. To supplement the family’s income she dabbles a little in petty trade by selling tea and sugar to the 70 households in her village. “In our village every house needs tea and sugar. I go to Mega town and purchase in bulk and sell them from my house to make some money on the side. “I very much enjoy the work I do. I make sure that loans are paid on time and that everyone pays their monthly dues on time. It is important that we stay on top of the management of the cooperative. With increased loans our capital and by extension our dividends from our shares grow”, said Kaliti who is a member of the cooperative’s control committee. 22

The group members are benefiting from an income generating activities group through accessing loans according to the group’s bylaws. Some of the beneficiaries like Kaliti have already engaged in petty trade. The scheme has been made possible through the UKM5 project, which helps increase women’s financial inclusion by enabling them to access financial services and loans. This generates opportunities for women to also have a say in the finances of the household and diversify the household’s livelihoods. Within two years the project plans to support five Savings and Credit Co-ops (SACCOs) with a total membership of 1,334 members, of which 1,152 will be women.


I very much enjoy the work I do. I make sure that loans are paid on time and that everyone pays their monthly dues on time. It is important that we stay on top of the management of the cooperative. With increased loans our capital and by extension our dividends from our shares grow



UKAM5 Enhancing Access to Credit for the Most Vulnerable Chukules Garaso is a fifty year old grandmother living in the Flo-romsa villages. Chukules used to live a comfortable life before her divorce with her husband. She is a mother of eight children and grandmother of ten children -- most of them currently under her care. During better times Chukules used to plant maize, wheat or beans on the family’s farmland. “There has not been any rains for the past three years. This, compounded with the fact that I only have one ox, I could not look towards growing any crops”. Three consecutive dry spells have resulted in widespread crop failures across the Borana in Southern Ethiopia. While Ethiopia battles residual needs from the 2015/2016 El Niño-induced drought, below average 2016 autumn rains in the southern and south eastern parts of the country has brought with it a new humanitarian crisis in 2017 with 8.5m people in need of humanitarian assistance in addition to the regular 7.9m under the Productive Safety Net Programme (PSNP). Chukules is a part of the savings and credit scheme supported by the joint CAFOD, SCIAF and Trōcaire programme and its local partners, which allows her to source some money for investing in her children’s future. The support comes by way of the ‘Enhancing Resilience to Climate Change and Increasing Income for Pastoralist, Agro-pastoralist and drop-out Pastoralist’ project co-implemented by CST and partners.


Through the project Chukules and 36 other members of the Jirena Credit and Saving Cooperative (which includes 18 women and 18 men as members) access seed money to begin petty trade, training on Business Development Skills (BDS) and organisational and financial management. She has received training on developing a business plan and capacity building from an Income Generating Activity (IGA). “Saving is very good for us. We can access money when someone is sick or borrow from the cooperative when we need to expand our businesses”, said Chukules. Besides encouraging saving and providing seed money for small businesses, the project helps empower women. The group has their own savings to complement the seed money to help their business ventures. The group is governed by bylaws they have been developed with the support of the cooperative promotion office. To this end, all members have their own savings pass book. Each member is required to save between 16 ETB [~£0.54] to 20 ETB [~£0.68] a month. To date, Chukules has saved 48 ETB [~£1.63] during her three month membership in the cooperative. She plans to a take loan from her cooperative and buy a cow to sell milk to support her growing brood of children and grandchildren.


Saving is very good for us. We can access money when someone is sick or borrow from the cooperative when we need to expand our businesses



IBLI Protecting Pastoralists from Losing their Cattle Dhabo Gelma is a 38 year old mother of eight (three boys and five girls). Originally born in Dhuka some 15 years ago, she has been living in Debi Village for the past 24 years. Dhabo’s livestock include two camels, five goats and seven cattle. It is difficult for Dhabo and her husband to provide for their family of ten. Often Dhabo helps by collecting firewood and selling milk to the nearby towns to supplement the family’s meagre income.

On a good day Dhabo sells an average of five cups of milk at 6 ETB each [~£0.20] in the Moyale market located 27 kilometres away. After milking her cows she waits by the roadside to get a bus to deliver the milk to her client, who in return amalgamates all the milk he gets from those like Dhabo and sells it wholesale to hotels and cafés in town. Her client in town will in return take one ETB out of Dhabo’s six ETB as commission.

She has been in the government’s Productive Safety Net Programme (PSNP) for the past ten years. The support she gets from the PSNP is 15 kgs of wheat per person in her household, which is provided only during emergencies. Though she is grateful for being included within the PSNP she states that the help has helped her to only get by during crises and has not helped her in the long run. Drought, made worse and more regular by a changing climate, is the most prevalent crisis encountered by people in Borana. Several pastoralist households in Borana are regularly hit by increasingly severe droughts. These households most often rely solely on livestock, which means that the resulting livestock deaths have devastating effects on people, households and whole communities. “During good conditions they (our cattle) give good milk but with the drought there is no grass. So to prevent my livestock from dying I provide them with concentrated fodder which reduces the milk productivity”, says Dhabo.


Dhabo Gelma, a news beneficiary of the IBLI scheme

While Ethiopia battles residual needs from the 2015/2016 El Niño-induced drought, below average 2016 autumn rains in the southern and south eastern parts of the country has brought with it a new humanitarian crisis in 2017. Currently 8.5m people are in need of emergency humanitarian assistance in addition to the regular 7.9m under the Productive Safety Net Programme (PSNP). In May this year in Borana an additional 135,577 vulnerable people have fallen into the acute food insecure category. All 13 districts of the Borana Zone of South western Ethiopia have been severely affected by late April with 379,251 livestock, amounting to 40-50% of livestock, dying due to lack of pastures and water. This has forced vulnerable households to migrate out of their villages in search of pasture and water, leaving behind women, children and the elderly without protection from further sufferings.

To further encourage the use of IBLI, local organisation Community Initiatives Facilitation and Assistance (CIFA), in partnership with the joint office of CAFOD, SCIAF and Trõcaire (CST), subsidises 35 per cent of the IBLI premium. As a result, Dhabo insured four goats and two ox; she has received a pay-out amounting 1250 ETB [~£41.67], thus making sure that she is covered from losses. “The money has really helped me in preventing further losses to my family. I plan to buy some fodder and another ox with the money”, said Dhabo. By May 2017, some 134 households have bought policies under the IBLI scheme this year. In recent years schemes like IBLI have helped to build resilience among pastoralists who are at risk of losing their livelihood because of a changing climate and drought.

Efforts to help communities counter the onslaught of climate change are being undertaken with funding secured through UK Aid Match for the Enhancing Resilience to Climate Change and Increasing Income for Pastoralist, Agro-pastoralist and drop-out Pastoralist project. As one component, the project supports communities through Index Based Livestock Insurance (IBLI). IBLI insures pastoralists in Borana against the livestock losses that often follow severe drought, such as the one currently being experienced. During drought, widespread livestock mortality is caused primarily by forage scarcity as a result the scheme tracks local forage conditions using real satellite data to determine the severity of drought, predict area-average livestock losses, and calculate insurance pay outs.


We hope you enjoyed this edition of CST-together. The next edition is due out in January 2018. Please send your articles and photographs to



Cst newsletter print (november 2017)  
Cst newsletter print (november 2017)