OWDA’s Adadle Community Development Project: Impacts and Beneficiaries’ Testimonies

Adadley Community Development project (ACDP) is a five year development program implemented by Ogaden Welfare and Development Association (OWDA) and funded by Development Fund Norway – DF in Adadley Woreda of Godey Zone, Somali Regional State, Ethiopia. The goal of the project was to provide capacity building and effective model of public services that addresses community priority needs and reduce their vulnerability.

The project beneficiaries’ livelihood system is composed of pure pastoral livelihood and agro-pastoral community residing in the wabi-shabele river bank. The pastoral communities’ livelihood is based on livestock and is very sensitive to droughts and water shortages. Out of the targeted 10 kabales 4 were chronically water insecure and faced water shortage on numerous occasions. The project prioritize ways to address this problem by developing new water points (Birkas) and rehabilitating existing ones. The project increased number of the functional water points per kabale from 1 to 3 on average and these water points increased water availability during the dry season to cover the needs of the community from less than a month to 3 months. If the gu rains are normal and recharge and fill the Birkas, the communities in these kabales will not require water trucking that was common in them before the project implementation. The household level water consumption was below 20 litters a day that cost them over 4 hours before the project inception. This has improved now to over 45 litters a day that will not take them more than 15 minutes.

The above information was collected from the project beneficiaries in different villages and here is one case from Birlays village under Malko-salah kabale. Abdiqadir Osman lived in the village before and after the project commencement and he compares the situation in his own words.

“I am a father of 5 children and lived in this village for long enough to compare the situation before and after the project implemented water points (Birkas) in our village. I personally remember fetching water from Karoodka hand dug wells, which took me 6 hrs per trip, and I did not have a donkey to carry the water from this long distance. I used to borrow it from my neighbors. The capacity of the donkey was about 50 liters per trip and it was every other day that we used to bring water from this source. The owner of the donkey took half of what we brought and my family was getting the other half. My wife was either pregnant or lactating and I used to fetch the water most of the time, which was taking a lot of time from me and this has stopped me to involve in income generation of the family. Now we do have 4 Birkas in the village which has been developed by the project except one. Now per day my family gets 40 liters of water, which does not need any draft animal and does not take me more than 15 minutes. Most of the time my wife fetches the water from the Birkas now. I have opened a tea shop since we have the water available at the village and I am better off now”.

Women and girls were generally responsible for fetching water from long distances and spend quarter of their time per day on it. Now women and girls get time for involving in household income generating activities and going to literacy classes. The project initiated alternative basic education classes for the adult people and majority of the persons attending are women.

Similarly, the project assisted the development of the small scale irrigation farming by providing water pumps and other technical assistances. Dama’ Yusuf Mursal, mother of six children, lives in riverine Kebele called Hilologududo, 17 Kms from Gode town. Dama’s family was one of the households who received water pumps from the project in 2010. She relates her story of how the water pumps helped her family and livestock survive the last harsh drought of 2011.

‘’We were among 40 households who received a water pump from the project in 2010. We were told that the water pump can irrigate 10 ha and our family got share of ¼ ha. We planted maize with it and harvested 4.5 quintals. This was just barely enough the family food needs. In addition to the small farm, we have 20 heads of cattle. Then, the harsh Jilaal drought of 2011 came. There was no pasture and cattle have nothing to feed. The carcass of died animals littered everywhere. Only those who have the means were able to save their livestock by purchasing feed or producing themselves. We didn’t have that opportunity. The small plot we irrigated again this year was meagerly enough the family subsistence. We were afraid that we will lose all of the cattle. I discussed this problem with my husband and decided to ask the Water User’s Association (WUA) to give us additional ¼ ha to produce fodder. They agreed but insisted that we water our field after others and cover the additional costs. We borrowed fuel, lubricants and money for the operational expenses from a relative of mine in Gode and promised him to pay after the drought. With the help of the Kebele DA, We managed to get 2Kgs of Sudan grass at the cost of 140 birr from the research center. We sowed the seed and watered for three consecutive periods. We harvested 6 quintals of maize from the first plot and 34 bales of Sudan grass from second. In addition to the maize stalks, we stored fodder and fed the cattle. There were four dairy cows and my children were able to get milk. We managed to pass through the Jilaal period and all of our cattle survived. Finally, we