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Lastest event

01 Feb

RIRA’s Ongoing Integrated Pastoralist Livelihoods Improvement Program Overviews

Pastoralists occupy the lowland areas of Ethiopia characterized by arid and semi-arid climates accounting for 60% of throughout the country with total population 7.7 million pastoralist communities (CSA, 2007). The pastoralists derive their living mainly from livestock. The Fantalle district is located in Great Rift Valley at 200km from Addis Ababa in Eastern Shoa Zone of Oromia region. The district has total population of 87,700 (44 % female) and 30 of the population accounts rural town settlements mainly labourer Upper Awash commercial farm (CSA 2007).

The district has a total area of 133,964ha out of which 14.6% is arable, 2.98% pasture and shrubs, 0.34% forest, 21.05 water bodies and 60.99% is rocky and volcanic. The altitude of the district ranges from 900 to 1000 meters above sea level with annual rainfall ranging from 500 mm to 700 mm and daily temperature ranging from 37 to 40 degree centigrade (Fentale District Agricultural and Rural Development 2014/15 report).A study conducted in 1993 (Jacobs and Schloeder) puts the total size of the dry and wet season grazing land traditionally belonging to the Karrayu community at 150,113 hectares. The same source indicates that 90,100 hectares have already been taken from the pastoralist community for commercial farm expansion and wildlife conservation schemes which shrikes the pasture land of the community in the rift valley. The processes of expropriating the rangelands for the aforementioned purposes have therefore thrown the customary land use rights of the community into unabated crisis[1]. Besides, Lake Basaka is under continuous expansion. The current total surface area of the Lake is estimated to be 42 km2, which was about 3km2 in the 1960’s (Gulilat, 2000; Alemayehu et al. 2006). Over 250 households were forced to resettle in nearby kebele due to the expansion of the lake Basaqa.The lake Basaka is neither used for human consumption  nor by livestock as it is contain a high alkaline, salt  and florid.

More than 75% of households in the rural areas of the district are dependent on pastoralism and 15% practice agro-pastoralism and sale forest products (charcoal and fire wood). Milk is the primary source of for the pastoralists. Despite livestock constituting the livelihoods of the pastoral community there is has no veterinary services (neither government nor private veterinary clinics) in the district. The district agricultural office 2014/15report shows that the high prevalence of animal diseases such as Anthrax, Black legs, pastroloses, sheep and goats pox, PPR, LSD, Bruselas, internal and external parasites, African horse sickness and gastro intestinal parasites reducing the production and productivity of livestock in the area.

The late on set and early cessation of rainfall at the critical stage of grass, expansion commercial farming (Matahara Sugar Plantation and upper Awash state farm), conservation areas (Awash National Park) and expansion of lake Baseka is continually decreasing productivity of livestock and increasing the vulnerability of the community to the recurrent drought.  Moreover, the number of people depending on the sale of fire woods and charcoal is increasing from to time which increases pressure on the remaining forests trees.  As the pasture land is decreasing from time to time the Kereyu pastoralists frequently face tribal conflicts with their neighbouring community namely Argoba and Afar pastoralist in adjacent district of Amahra and Afar region.

According to the district education office report of 2014/15, during the dry season the number of school dropout out reached over 65% and during severe drought season some schools are totally closed. Adult literacy rate for male less than 10% while for female is 2 to 3%.  Strong gender biases have meant that even as services improve in pastoralist societies, many girls are denied access to education and skills enhancement training as the pastoral community give priority for boys (RIRA baseline survey report, 2014).

Summary of the pervious phase

  • 15 pastoralist women income generation SHGs (with total members of 450)were organized and registered as cooperatives at district level
  • 43000 seedling raised and five hectares of lands covered with a new tree planted
  • 1579 adult men and women attended the FAL program out of which 1089 adult pastoralist men, 240 women and 250 children attended learning in 10 non-functional education centre and completed the 1st and 2nd cycles
  • 24 communities based animal health workers were trained, provided basic kits, organized in groups and providing veterinary service to the project 


Direct beneficiaries of the project will  be 1270 (127f)  pastoralist and agro-pastoralist households with a total population of 7,620 (66%f) living in 10 kebeles of Fantale District: Ilala-karari, Dega-du, Kobo, Banti- Mogasa, Galcha-Ajotar, Kanifa, Fate Ledi, Sara-weba, Diresaden, Turo-Badanota , Gara-dima and 70 Gadara leaders of traditional community based institutions) are direct beneficiaries of trainings and play a leading role in mobilizing the community and organizing various activities of the project on their own.

Indirect beneficiaries are 1050 households with a total population of 6300 people (51%) living immediately adjacent to the 8 target kebeles. The households will indirectly benefit from the project results through observation, information flow through their local institutions and agricultural products that will be sold in Metehara market and nearby kebeles.

Project goals and objective

Livelihoods options of pastoralist  and agro-pastoralist 1270 HHs (of 7,620 person of 65% female) in ten target kebeles of Fantale district is enhanced through promoting self-help income diversification and strengthened role of women in family and community affairs and off-farm income generating activities; promoting sustainable use of natural resource management and multipurpose tree planting; supporting community based animal health services; and fostering function adult literacy education programs and developing capacity on improved methods of small irrigation farming.


  1. 325 HHs of 975 persons (625 female) and 350 youths (100 girls) of the targeted kebeles have increased their income on average by 50 % by the end of the project
  2. 15 ha of degraded land enclosed, rehabilitated under the supervisor of Abba Gadaa leaders by the end of the project
  3. 1620 or 59% of 2740 FALE  trainees will pass the first and second cycle non formal adult education   and 250 children will pass alternative basic education by the end of the project period.