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Soil and water conservation

In total 6566 m stone bunds and 100 percolation ponds have been constructed in 2022. These walls are not meant to lock people out, but to keep fertile soil inside the forest. The captured soft sediment provides water and nutrients to the young plants. It stimulates the growth of seedlings and natural regeneration. Our little plants had a survival rate of over 90% last year, an internal record, and a milestone to be proud of!

Water reservoirs

As elsewhere in the world, men and women in Tigray often have different priorities for the future of their village. When designing “plan vivo maps” with women-only groups, it became clear that women generally wanted to invest most in drinking water infrastructure. This is no big surprise, since fetching water is a burden falling hardest on women. In Adi Lehsti, Meam Atali, and Gidmi Gestet, fetching water during the dry season required a walk of 4 hours per day. The opening of 3 new water reservoirs, paid using PVCs, has reduced that time consumption a sixfold.

Nugus Gebremariam

Nugus Gebremariam, farmer in Meam Atali

My fields are just downslope of the EthioTrees forest in Meam Atali. Before, the springs in the valley supplied groundwater only during the first months of the dry season. Since two years, the groundwater is recharging. Now, I can irrigate all year round.

School building

EthioTrees continued to build four new schools in Dogua Tembien over the course of 2022. The construction was funded using the sale of Plan Vivo Certificates (PVCs). Four community councils decided to build primary schools in Afedena, May Genet, Amanit, and May Baati. As of April 2023, the new schools are open and welcome more than 200 new students.

Frankincense regeneration

Thanks to the generosity of their trunks, providing high-value incense, frankincense trees (Boswellia papyrifera) may be the most wonderful trees on Earth. Adding to their mystique is the fact that it remains impossible to plant their seedlings. Over the past years, EthioTrees and the community of Amanit worked on a strategy of intensive natural regeneration. Finally, the hard work pays off. During a field survey with the teams of EthioTrees Ethiopia and Belgium in May 2023, an incredible density of new Boswellia  babies was observed!

Food aid

In response to the famine last year, EthioTrees used carbon finance to provide support to vulnerable communities. From sustainably managing their land during the crisis, the communities earned approximately 200,000 USD from the sale of Plan Vivo Certificates. This money was distributed as cash-for-food and allowed farmers to buy food in the city, which they then took back to their villages, a half day’s walk away. Within their villages, the 18 communities then collectively allocated food and funds towards 29,135 people who needed support most.