CARE Knows How to Tap Into Wellsprings

CARE Knows How to Tap Into Wellsprings

Tussamo Tino, 31, is married and a father of three children. He is a farmer in the Southern Nations, Nationalities, and Peoples' Region (SNNPR) in Ethiopia. He used to plant ensets (false banana), maize and haricot beans on his small plot, but unpredictable rainfall and problems of pest infestation and soil nutrient draining resulted in frequent periods of total or partial crop failure. This cascaded into high risks of livestock deaths due to a shortage of food, greatly worsening the food insecurity in the region.

Tussamo took advantage of a government-funded program to learn about better feeding and agricultural practices while he also worked as a barber. Along with other fellow farmers, he soon organized a CARE Village Savings and Loan Association (VSLA)/Village Economic and Social Association (VESA) and started saving some money into the group’s account. He took out a loan and kept expanding his barbering business. He started sharing his skill and know-how with other farmers in his village and beyond. He then joined in a USAID-funded and CARE-led initiative called GRAD (Graduation with Resilience to Achieve Sustainable Development). GRAD helps chronically food insecure households “graduate” from the government-run program through specific interventions, one of which is Rope and Washer Technology.

These water pumps retrieve water from previously inaccessible or unused underground reserves and aquifers. By increasing water access, households can drastically improve their farm yields and general hygiene standards.

Beginning in 2011, CARE gave Tussamo training that focused on climate change adaptation systems, resilience building, small scale irrigation systems, operating and maintaining the rope and washer pump, planting drought resistant crops, farming vegetables, getting them to market and gender equality.

Since the pump’s installation, Tussamo has seen a marked improvement in his agricultural yields. He grows a number of diversified crops: bananas, sugar cane, beans, corn, khat, onions, tomatoes, carrots and potatoes.

Now, he has enough food feed his family and sell to a number of different markets and restaurants. With the proceeds of the sale of his crops, Tussamo has been able to pay for household goods, educational material for his children, a better house, livestock and set money aside for his wife’s education. 

He says this was possible all thanks to CARE’s rope and washer pump.

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