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In Nature's Way: Protecting and Irrigating Koraro's land
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In Nature's Way: Protecting and Irrigating Koraro's land

Simple, innovative structures in Koraro, Ethiopia divert floods that had previously devastated farmers. Now the water is channeled to irrigate farmland. These structures were built with support from the Ethiopian government's safety net program, which supplied villagers with grain in exchange for their labor.

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Directed by Zoe Flood.

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Originally featured in the ViewChange Online Film Contest.

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Segment 1

TITLE
Millennium Promise: Extreme poverty ends here
TITLE
In Nature's Way: Protecting and irrigating Koraro's land. Ethiopia, March 2010
VOICEOVER
Farmer Arrea Atzbiha feeds his family from a quarter of a hectare of land in the remote Millennium Village of Koraro in Ethiopia.
ARREA ATZBIHA [Farmer]
I mostly grow tef [grain] here. My parents gave me this land. It does not belong to me.
VOICEOVER
But, every year, nature unleashes its power on Arrea. During the heavy rains, water gushes down the nearby Gera'alta Mountains, wreaking havoc.
GIGAR KEBEDE [Infrastructure Coordinator, Koraro Millennium Village Project]
It carries all the eroded soil materials and deposits in farmland. By doing this it was devastating and damaging the farmers and leaving them without any crop yield.
VOICEOVER
But over the last year, gabion structures made of stones and wire mesh have been built all around the village, diverting destructive floodwaters and channeling them to irrigate farmland.
GIGAR KEBEDE
We assemble the stones using gabion boxes so that they can act strongly and resist the impact of high floods.
VOICEOVER
By teaching the local community how to manage the heavy rains using simple engineering techniques, staff of the Millennium Village Project are helping to make sure that the farmers' fields get all the water they need.
GIGAR KEBEDE
If we are able to control and manage it, and use it through the dry season, we can have sufficient crop production and it will be sufficient to feed the people.
VOICEOVER
Built by local villagers with support from the Ethiopian government safety net program, which gives grain in return for labor, the gabions are reclaiming land such as this gully bed while sending the water to the farmers’ fields.
GIGAR KEBEDE
The run-off that is diverted into the trench infiltrates into the ground, so ultimately that develops the groundwater level, and by constructing hand-dug wells, it can be used for irrigation.
VOICEOVER
By channeling the precious water, wells can be dug and fields irrigated, putting food on the table for farmers like Arrea who are filled with hope fur the future.
ARREA ATZBIHA
If the water continues to flow, we know that production will increase.
GIGAR KEBEDE
Farmers have already started irrigating small plots. By doing this we are improving the nutritional security of the local people.
VOICEOVER
Local people who this year are hopeful of a plentiful harvest.
TITLE
Widespread reliance on rain-fed agriculture has led to deep food insecurity that threatens much of Africa.
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The Millennium Villages project has empowered entire communities by teaching modern irrigation techniques.
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These successfully control water flows for plentiful harvests, ensuring increased crop yields, better nutrition, and improved livelihoods.
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Help us ensure that entire communities can introduce these simple and affordable engineering techniques -- and so can begin to lift themselves out of extreme poverty.
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Millennium Promise: Extreme poverty ends here. Join us today at www.millenniumpromise.org