Water is something that is never taken for granted in Tsion’s community. Her family lives in Southwest Shoa Zone in Ethiopia, which suffers from long periods of drought that makes their lives incredibly challenging.
“Over the last couple of years, we’ve been facing a chronic shortage of water,” Tsion told us. To make sure her children have enough safe water to drink she travelled long distances to a local river, which was very physically taxing on the mother of five.
The water shortage in Tsion’s community was having a negative impact on her ability to earn a livelihood as well. Tsion and her husband oversee their family farm which produces wheat, maize and coffee. But relying on rain, and without access to irrigation, their yields were quite low especially in the summer. “Growing my crops in the summertime is harder,” said Tsion. “I would dig little ditches in between my plants, hoping that rain water would collect and I could use it to nourish my crops.”
Tsion’s children have also been affected by these long periods of drought. When her farm doesn’t produce enough crops, it’s difficult for Tsion to provide nutritious and healthy foods for her children or send them to school. “When our vegetables don’t grow, we cannot feed our children enough throughout the year. We also cannot sell our crops, so we have little income and can’t send our children to school.”
The situation for Tsion and her family was desperate. But then Canadian Feed The Children’s local partner CHADET stepped in and changed everything.
A splash of hope
Many of Tsion’s worries were alleviated when, thanks to the support of generous donors, CHADET installed a water pump near Tsion’s home. Tsion’s life and those of her family were transformed by pure, clean water available right at their doorstep. With the water flowing, Tsion also received water-use management training where she learned how to take her turn to maintain the equipment, and irrigate her crops to increase her harvest.
“Since we received the water pump, my crop yields have doubled! I’ve even been able to grow new vegetables like chili peppers and cabbage to sell so I can boost my income.”
Because of these increased yields, Tsion’s children now have nutritious and healthy foods available right in their home. As well, because Tsion can sell more produce, she has extra income and can pay her children’s school fees.
Flowing to the future
Now that her crops are thriving, Tsion wants to expand her farm even further. She dreams of growing more varieties of vegetables so she can boost her income and have extra produce to feed her children.
In addition, Tsion recently joined the Abdi Boru Self-Help Group where she received a loan and financial training. With this credit, she purchased an ox to plough her farm, which she hopes will increase the number and diversity of crops she can produce each year.
Most importantly, Tsion wants to be able to always provide enough healthy food for her children to eat and keep her children in school so they can have a bright future.
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