Machakel Epicentre Tackles Huge Gully

Machakel Epicentre is the fourth Epicentre implemented by The Hunger Project in Ethiopia and is located at the northern part of the country, 365 km from Addis Ababa. The project area covers three villages that are in a high rainfall zone, making them particularly vulnerable to water erosion. Prior to our intervention in the area, there were poor water and soil conservation practices.

The Gully Formed in Machakel Epicentre

A poor water drainage system consistently washed vast amounts of soil away from cultivable lands, affecting nearly all households in the Epicentre community. A huge gully formed that was over 15 metres deep, threatening community members and cattle.

Mr Desita Adualem, Chairperson of Machakel Epicentre, explained that they were beginning to collect a 50-cent monthly membership fee to focus on the development issues of the gorge and the funds were being used to enclose a protected area with a fence and to retain the soil using a wire-enclosed sack of rocks.

Additionally, the community worked with the Machakel Epicentre Project Officer to prepare and submit a proposal to the village’s Development Agent and a partnership was quickly formed, with farmers, the District Agricultural Office and The Hunger Project to share responsibility for labour, technical training and materials.

A tree nursery was developed on-site and managed by farmers, who have now planted over 15,000 seedlings, covering 85% of the land. Mr Basee Teshale, secretary of a local aid association, wonders if anyone would have remained in the village had the gully been allowed to continue growing unchanged.Area Enclosure After One Year Intervention

This joint venture of the three parties, and particularly the farmers’ dedication, is an example of exemplary work.

Machakel Epicentre chairperson, Mr Desita, said the following: ‘We were organised in an environment protection and development association before three years. The village development agents (DAs) supported us to organise ourselves and gain training and technical support from district agriculture office experts. We also get the required material support from The Hunger Project.’ He also said, ‘It also surprises us that after we planted elephant grass and tree seedlings in the gorge, the trees are now growing tall. Thanks to The Hunger Project, our association is considered as one the best specialists in rehabilitating degraded land with area enclosure approaches.’


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