Yeka Saden
Development Project

Yeka Saden is located 17 km to the north of Addis Ababa. The community is very disadvantaged due to the expansion of suburban development in Addis. Poor farmers and unskilled labourers have been displaced and have no alternative income. The marginal farmland is degraded and the community has no access to services such as healthcare, education, and potable/clean water.

The project is meant to address two major development goals:

  1. Increase household income from agricultural production by providing training, improved seed, and a motor pump for small-scale irrigation. 60 farmers will be organized to undertake the agricultural activities.
  2. Introduce off-farm activities by organizing 30 women into saving and credit groups to engage in income-generating activities. This will increase and diversify household incomes and empower women both economically and psychologically. It will also build the capacity of the community members through various trainings on economic empowerment.

Although Yeka Saden is close enough to Addis Ababa to have potential for employment opportunities, a significant portion of the population is lacking marketable skills and education.

The problems faced by the people of Yeka Saden village are multifaceted and intertwined. However, the perceived root problems aggravating the poverty situation of the village are urbanization, gender discrimination, and low or absent diversified income sources. Even though high school dropout rates, poor livestock productivity, and the heavy workload of women and children are important, it is likely that they stem from these core problems.

The Ethiopian NGO Tarkanfi Sustainable Development (TSD) is employing a multi-dimensional development approach, including micro-financing, to address the core problems in Yeka Saden.

TSD uses the Asset–Based Community Development (ABCD) model, which is based on appreciating and mobilizing individual and community talents, skills, and assets. TSD wants to focus on community-driven development rather than development driven by external agencies.


Project Activities

  • Organizing a core group
  • Mapping the capacities and assets of individuals, associations, and local institutions
  • Building a community vision and plan
  • Mobilizing and linking assets for economic development
  • Leveraging activities, investments, and resources from outside the community

Project Benefits

  • Increased area under irrigation
  • Increased adoption of improved agricultural practices
  • Increased number of households practising non-farm activities
  • Improved physical access to social services
  • Non-farm activities appear in groups and individually
  • Increased saving and credit groups
  • Enhanced capacity of communities to manage programs
  • Organization of community institutions
  • Increased household income from agricultural production
  • Increased household income from adoption of improved agricultural practices
  • Increased household income from non-agricultural practices
  • Improved project management

Actions will also be taken to implement programs for sustainable alternative income sources, agricultural development, environmental protection, and rehabilitation. To this effect, conservation-based agricultural development that integrates animal husbandry, and the production of highland fruits, cereals, and drought-resistant varieties of crops, will be promoted to enhance food security at the household level.

The program specific strategy mainly focuses on:

  • Natural resource protection and rehabilitation
  • Promotion of organic farming
  • Income-generating activities

Project Planning

The project duration is two years.

Inflation in the country is high and, with the current global economic situation, is not expected to fall. Commodity prices are very unstable and show dramatic variations over very short time spans. This situation might affect the implementation of some project activities, particularly those having construction activities. However, risk will be minimized by assessing the market situation thoroughly and undertaking activities during the most favourable times.

The participation of all stakeholders began with the initial planning phase of the project when a participatory livelihood assessment was made to identify community needs and priorities. Community members identified and prioritized the most pressing needs of their village and also proposed ways by which they could be mitigated. Local government representatives were involved in the project, organizing community meetings and jointly planning  possible activities that could be implemented to reduce the prevailing problems. Moreover, to improve the participation of the community and local administration during the implementation phase of the project, orientation workshops will be conducted.

The ability to secure jobs provides young adults with an income that they can use to support themselves and their communities.
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