Solutions aimed at establishing water and food security are paramount. Once people can feed themselves and have access to nearby, safe potable water, other solutions can be implemented to help them generate more income, diversify local economies, and deal with health issues.
Irrigation development projects are one of the most innovative and successful methods of bringing water and food security as well as necessary infrastructure to people in remote rural regions. Once pastoral groups have land and the water needed to cultivate the land, they are able to make a living without having to constantly move around and can form communities in which education, healthcare, and other economic opportunities are available. It is exciting to see the sustainable impact of these types of projects!
Reaching Out to Communities When Implementing Sustainable Practices
In Ethiopia, sustainable development cannot be forced on people or communities. It is critical to listen to the people to discover what they really need and get their recommendations on how to solve ongoing problems. The people know what they need; they simply don’t have the resources to make their dreams a reality.
If the community’s input is not considered, there is no motivation for individuals to take advantage of any knowledge, programs, or infrastructure supplied by development groups. Similarly, if the community has not participated in implementing sustainable ideas and practices, people will not feel ownership and what was thought to be a solution will fail.
Sustainable Development is Happening
There are many innovative, committed individuals and organizations working to develop effective long-term solutions in Ethiopia. While the challenges are many and the need can seem overwhelming, taking one step at a time is making a difference. Learn more about Rainbow for the Future’s projects in Ethiopia.