Securing the livelihoods of Dassenech families

08 October 2018

The Ethiopian Government, in the interests of national energy security, opened the Gilgel Gibe III dam. This caused a drought upriver from the Sodo valley and had a disastrous effect on the indigenous people.  Of all the ethnic groups in the area, the Dassenech were the most badly affected. They relied heavily on the seasonal cycle of the river and, as semi-nomadic pastoralists, their traditional way of life became unsustainable.

As a result, young men began to migrate to Addis Ababa and beyond. And migration resulted in permanent damage to the social fabric of this sophisticated, unique community.

In collaboration with Vita and the EU, Onaway is supporting a programme to expand and secure the livelihoods of 175 Dassenech families (approx. 875 people) by introducing new irrigation and farming techniques.

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