About the region

Ethiopia covers a diverse range of landscapes, cultures and climates. These include some of the hottest and driest areas on Earth. In South Omo Zone, pastoralist communities travel for many kilometres in search of water and suitable grazing for their livestock. This is often difficult to find as erosion, deforestation and drought has left the land degraded.

About our partner

Action for Development (AFD) work on water and food security, natural resource management and sustainable livelihoods programmes in drylands across Ethiopia. Active since 1997, Action for Development have previously constructed over 20 sand dams. This programme will see them develop their knowledge in sand dams even further, incorporating techniques from our partners in southeast Kenya, the Africa Sand Dam Foundation, and construct sand dams in new regions.

How we're working together

The programme will see the implementation of four pilot sand dams across four communities in South Omo Zone in southern Ethiopia. Through environmental protection measures such as gabions, stone bunds and tree planting, the project will reduce erosion, allowing for sustainable soil, water and forest management. The communities will enhance their food security through climate-smart agriculture, while the sand dams will provide year-round access to clean water.

“The project is intended to be implemented over the next three years, with the aim of implementing sand dams as a rainwater harvesting method and environmental protection technique in Southern Ethiopia, paving the way for improved natural resource management, reversing environmental degradation, improved agricultural production, poverty reduction, and hygiene in the rural areas of South Omo zone.”

Yoseph Negassa, Executive Director of AFD, Ethiopia.