Kumudu Village is one of the thirty-five villages in the Arsi Negelle District of Ethiopia; it is located at approximately 8 km of unpaved roads away from the main highway that runs 225 km south from the capital, Addis Ababa. The majority of villagers practice agriculture – the main crops being maize and cereal grains – and herd cattle and goats.
Engage Now Foundation (ENF), a registered NGO in Ethiopia, has established a half-hectare community garden in the village, on a sloping hillside of 25 meters above the river. Through the provision of seeds and fertilizers, ENF encourages the community to grow a larger variety of crops for consumption so as to improve the villagers’ health with more nutrients. In addition, the surplus could also be sold for profit through an ENF-sponsored micro-enterprise program for the benefits of the entire community. This community garden has been so successful that another plot of similar size located 10 meters above the river was chosen as the site for the second community garden in August 2005.
ENF estimated that there is enough space and fertile soil for the community garden to expand up to a size of three to four hectares eventually. However, this is currently limited by inadequate irrigation. Every day, women would spend several hours going up and down a steep gorge of over 25 meters deep to collect water from the Huluka River using plastic containers. Some of the fetched water would be saved for family uses, and the remaining is then spread through sprinkler cans over the gardens. This amount of water is insufficient to cover the entire land, and thus the villagers are heavily dependent on rain water for irrigation. As a result, the gardens are usually left fallow during the dry seasons from September to April. A more efficient irrigation system to gather water from the Huluka River that flows all year round would therefore promises not only a sustained supply of nutrients and income for the village, but also more time for the women to attend to their families.
Please download this pdf report
for the remainder of Eric Hui's report on building a water supply system for irrigation of a 3 hectare community garden.