Dire Kiltu community members cut grass to sell for roofing and livestock feed in one of the areas they've protected from livestock feeding and crop harvesting. With the help of Catholic Relief Services and Ethiopia Catholic Church-Social and Development Coordinating Office of Meki; Wonji Branch Office through generous funding from the American people through USAID, the community has protected large swaths of grassland in order to offset deforestation and land degradation. The area had been cleared of trees in the past few decades causing severe soil erosion and rainwater runoff. Trenches were dug to slow down soil erosion, trees were planted to provide shade, block winds and filter rain into the ground, and the enclosure was made off limits to livestock grazing. The land now provides jobs cutting and selling grass for roofing to around 100 people. Soil erosion has diminished and wildlife has begun to return to the area. The livestock is fed the grasses when the dry seasons hit.
Photo by Sara A. Fajardo/Catholic Relief Services