Polska pomoc


Protection of the Kimpee forest through support for the local community

The tropical Kimphee forest is located in Ethiopia (Ethiopia, the Oromo Region), in an area, where there is not enough farmable land and many people have no stable source of income.

Since they have no prospect for employment or farming land, local residents of two kebeles cut down the local forest to sell the wood and receive some money to survive, but, in consequence, it devastates the forest and deteriorates the state of the local ecosystem. The constant damage caused to nature decreases tourists' interest in the region, which is reflected in limited possibilities for developing local tourism business.

The objective of the project is to provide local people with an alternative source of income by providing them with appropriate knowledge and skills, which will allow them to open their own businesses and cooperatives with the help of appropriate technical support. Permanent employment would offer the residents decent life and help avoid cutting down the forest and protect it.

In 2013 the partner implemented a similar project in this area (on the other side of the forest), addressed to a similar target group, thus the experience acquired as a result of that initiative will make the next project more effective.

Protection of the Kimpee forest through support for the local community

The project will be implemented in cooperation with the partner, the International Institution of Rural Reconstruction, from 1 June to 15 December 2015. The project activities will be  fully implemented in the area of the tropical Kimphee forest (Bishangari, the Oromo Region, Ethiopia). As part of the project two meetings with local people will be conducted.  At the start of the project, for the purpose of determining the needs and explaining what actions are planned to be implemented, and then at the end, to sum up the project and emphasize the importance of protecting the Kimphee forest.

On the basis of joint arrangements (about 300 people), seven women will be selected and they will be given the opportunity to run a local restaurant. The building which will house the restaurant will be renovated and equipped with a biogas installation, so that it would be possible to cook and light the building at the same time. Also, the members of two beekeeping cooperatives (15 people in each) will be selected during the meeting, beehives and honeybee colonies will be purchased for them. In order to protect the forest even more 30 households located within its vicinity will receive solar panels to provide them with lightning, so that they would not need wood for that purpose.

Except for the actions described above, there is also a plan to provide 20 leaders from the groups with training and two cooperatives of women running the restaurant and producing furnaces (the group from the previous project) with marketing training.

It is expected that the Kimphee forest will be protected when local residents are able to receive income from  sources other than cutting trees and selling  wood and that the lives of the beneficiaries will be improved.

Protection of the Kimpee forest through support for the local community

All the actions included in the project application were implemented within the specified time limit. Thanks to the project, the residents most in need received support, by determining the group of beneficiaries (about 100 people) in agreement with the local community, thus adjusting the actions to their needs.

As a result of the decision , the building, where seven women opened a local restaurant using the biogas installation for lighting and preparing meals, was renovated and furnished. Beehives and colonies of honeybees were purchased for two 15-person groups. Moreover, 20 leaders from both groups were trained and the cooperative of women running the restaurant and producing furnaces (from the previous project) was provided with marketing training. The actions taken will ensure that the project has lasting effects, because the problem with selling the products was previously noticed due to the lack of basic marketing skills, thanks to the trainings that problem was eliminated. The above business undertakings (two beehives and a restaurant) have a positive impact on the financial situation of the beneficiaries (37 people and their families), thanks to which they are not forced to cut down the forest.

The project also provided for the purchase and installation of solar panels for 30 households, the alternative light source will decrease demand for wood, the households which received the gifts (each with 6 to 10 members) were obliged to take care of the forest.

All the objectives were accomplished and the diplomatic mission considered the partner to be experienced and trustworthy. The project was fully funded by the Polish Aid and its value amounted to about PLN 75,000 (around USD 19,000).  For the purposes of calculation, the following exchange rate was applied: USD 1 = PLN 3.9695.