Integrated Rural Development Program

Mission/objective statement of  the Program

Goal: EKHC Integrated Rural Development has the overall objective of enhancing the livelihoods and food security of rural households all over the country. 



·         To increase the number of households whose annual production/income is sufficient to be food secure

·         To rehabilitate denuded environments through tree planting and various soil and water conservation measures

·         To empower women so that they can improve their access to productive resources and technologies by creating additional income generating activities

·         To Increase & sustain household income  and

·         To improve the health of target beneficiaries

Year of induction

Project phase

The program has been active since 1984


Major theme of the program/ project

1.       Food security 

·          Agriculture – extension services, crops& fruit, spices, medicinal herbs, livestock production, forage and pasture improvement

·         Small scale irrigation

·         Technology demonstrations& adaptability trials

·         Conservation farming

2.       Environment

Area enclosure, planting trees, physical structures,

3.       Livelihoods

·          Employment opportunities, alternative income sources, marketing cooperatives, credit in kind 

4.       Women's development

·          Skills training, improved technologies, SHG, credit in kind 

5.       Health  -health service , ??

6.       Infrastructure

·         Feeder roads, spring capping.


Geographic intervention areas

Currently active operational areas 

1          OromiaRegional State:  Bale zone: Goba district

2          SNNPRS –Gamogofa Zone:  Kucha district

3          Beneshangul Gumuz Regional State – Assosa &Hoemsha districts

Number of employees and volunteers under the program

·         35 program & administrative staff

No registered volunteers, however church leaders at zonal & district levels help to administer the projects.


Number of graduated, current and planned beneficiaries

Grants – Active & phased out


Active projects

  1. Goba Integrated Rural Development &Food Security Project

      Budget -515, 000 Euro (12.75 million birr)

      Project period 3 years – 2015 -2017

      Project beneficiaries: 1490 households (500 female headed) comprising a totalof 9523 people.

     Donor – Bread for the World (BftW)

  1. Assosa Homesha health project

       Budget – 4,013,559 birr

       Project period - 1st January 2013 till 31st December 2016

       Project beneficiaries - 10,000 people

       Donor – NetherlandProtestant Church Development Service (GZB)

  1. Kucha conservation farming project

     Budget -3,009,580.00 ETB or 147,229.00 USD

      Project period 3 years – November 1, 2015 – October 31, 2017

 Project beneficiaries: 483 households totalling 2,583 people.

       Donor – Canadian Food Grains Bank (CFGB)


Phased out projects 

  1. Kucha food security enhancement project
  2. Kucha small scale irrigation project
  3. Kucha food for work project
  1. Kucha integrated rural development project
  2. Kamba integrated rural development project
  3. Hadiya integrated rural development project
  4. ArbaMinch women's training center

Partners and primary stakeholders

·          Target Communities found in project operational areas, local communities, churches. CBOS, Relevant government bodies found in the project areas, zonal and relevant regional government  Local Government Bureaux.


Major achievements of the program/project

·         Provision of health services at clinic level (diagnostic & preventive services)

·         Community training

·         Working with traditional birth attendants

·         Community health educators

·         Moringa distribution (leaf powder for pregnant women, seeds and seedlings for the farming community


1.  Improving crop production - the capacity, techniques & potential of the beneficiary farmers in crop production has increased. The production of the major staple food & cash crops of the area increased from year to year. This increase in crop production has a direct link with the food security status of the beneficiary households & also with the household incomes which go towards other household requirements.

2. The level of food self-sufficiency has increased significantly among the beneficiary households. The percentage of beneficiary households able to feed their household members throughout the year has increased from 20.5% in 2004 to 46.8 % at the end of the project period. However the result of the study indicates that there is still a need for external support for approximately 53% of the beneficiaries to fill the food gap.

3.  Livestock production – the project beneficiaries own a variety of livestock. Over the life of the project the ability of the beneficiary farmers to cope with unforeseen circumstances and their resilience in emergency situations has improved.  Women have become owners of milking cows, goats and other productive resources through the credit-in-kind programs and self-help groups

4.  Access to veterinary services and the availability of drugs have improved & the prevalence of livestock disease has decreased. With more animals being kept, animal by-products such as milk, eggs and meat have contributed to improving health through better diet and to diversifying the sources of cash income.

5.  The availability of livestock feed & the ability of beneficiary households to take care of & manage their cattle have improved.  

6. The awareness of the beneficiaries towards natural resource management & protection improved. This is reflected through their active participation in tree planting& soil conservation work on communal land& on their own farmland.

7.  Farmland productivity has improved. More grass is available for cattle to eat and for roofing houses. More wood is available for construction.

8. Community assets built through the project interventions were reused to improve other services like education and community police service.(The trees planted on communal land were used to build mud plastered housing units for school teachers and community police stations) 

9.  More than 250 hectares of denuded land were rehabilitated through tree planting. A number of farmers started raising forest tree seedlings in their own nurseries. This can be taken as an indicator of the sustainability of the re-aforestation program.

10. Firewood-saving stoves made of soil mud bricks were distributed to 1733 households. This also created a self-employment opportunity for 21 women.

11. Access to agricultural inputs and marketing of farm products improved. The established cooperatives are already engaged in purchasing and distributing farm products, fertilizers and other inputs.

12. The training of women – as in any part of the country, women in the project area are a neglected and under-privileged group. The majority of household activities& responsibilities are shouldered by women. They are the food preparers & family caretakers. Accordingly empowering women will play a significant role in addressing & improving household food security status. The different capacity building training sessions organized for women beneficiaries has resulted 

? in reduced harmful traditional practices. There is reduced practice of female genital mutilation, and less branding of children’s faces;

? in the practice of family planning ( however the average family size is still above the area average)

? in better food preparation & preservation techniques

? in increased household health status due to better hygiene & sanitation practices

?  In improved participation of women in community development projects.

13. The tradition & culture towards property ownership has changed. Women have started to become property owners. This trend will contribute a lot to changing women’s roles in decision making within the household & society


Stories of Transformation

“Our Self- help  Group has opened our eyes to see the valuable resources we have at hand.”                   SHG members, “YERGACHEFE”

The name “YERGACHEFE” is well-known locally, nationally and internationally for the coffee it produces (“Green Gold”).

“YERGACHEFE” is a lush, green area, mostlycovered by coffee plantations, different types of trees, farmland, mountains and gorges sheltered by dense vegetation. Can you imagine poor people living in this area? The answer is yes. In spite of its being a type of paradise, in the sense that it has many natural resources and clementweather conditions, there are people who are living in poverty here. They are particularly vulnerable to local money lenders especially when  family members get sick, or when they are trying to pay for festival food or for funerals. The money lenders charge exhorbitant rates of interest. However, after they had been introduced to theself-help approach and organized into SHGs, they, HARU Kebele SHG members, said : "we have seen what valuable resources we have at hand”.

Haru Kebele is one of the kebeles found in YERGACHEFE district. In this beautiful kebele, there are fourteen organized self-help groups that have savings between them of 60,000 birr.


Ato Gebeyehu is one of the members of the Hangetu SHG found in Haru Kebele. He is sixty years old. He is  married and a father of two children. Hangu SHG was established in 2002 E.C. Members started by saving 2.00 birr per week and later increased this to ten birr weekly as their incomes rose. Now the SHG has total savings of 24,000.00 birr.It has fourteen members and all are men. According to their bylaws, they may borrow money from the SHG tostart their own profit making businesses such as petty trading of “qocho”, a localstaplefood and other items found in the market. They can also use the money borrowed from the SHG for their children's school fees, for medication, or other family needs. Generally they help themselves and support their group by returning the money with interest.

 Ato Gebeyehu said” I don’t have the words to speak about the advantages of saving and my self-help group”. After he took some training in saving and self-help group organization, his life was totally changed. He said we had many resources but we lived in poverty. Due to a lack of saving and financial management skills, though we had a huge amount of money, we were living in suffering for decades. But now, it is our time, our season of thanks to our self–help group: we have become the owners of thousands of birr.

After initial training, Ato Gebeyehu, started saving with other group members. They began working as a group to buy a coffee purifying machine in order to use it on the farmland. In doing this,  Ato Gebeyehu got 124,000.00 birr profit. As his income increased over time he was able to build a housewhich cost 60,000.00 birr. Now Ato Gebeyehu has a total of one million birr capital. And he is planning to invest and be engaged in different business areas. Ato Gebeyehu said” before I joined my SHG I had no experience of saving even 0.5 cent;self-help has transformed my life totally”. He continued: “I have taught others about SHG and changed their lives individually and as a group. I have also done a lot for the SHG I belong to; if I had known about SHGsearlier, I would now be one of my country's millionaires. Of course, I still can be now!”


“My Bank is Self-help group (SHG) “,said Ato Tesefaye Horedofa, secretary of the Hangetu self-help group. He continued saying “Self- help hasn’t only changed our saving culture; it has also transformed our overall attitude towards life”. Ato Tesefaye said “After I joined my SHG I was able to send my child to school, I was able to amass some personal capital, I bought a motor bike, which cost 16,000.00 birr, I built a house which cost 65,000.00 birr, and generally now I am living a modern type of life style.”

Ato Tesfaye’s perception is that the lives of all the members of the SHG he belongs to have been transformed: they have built modern houses;they are engaged in different business areas, both individually and as a group. They havenow become investors. The SHG members are now working as a group selling coffee seedlings. They also have some farmland and are cultivating corn, which will yield 15,000.00 birr after the harvest.


Future plan and sustainability strategy of the program/project

Future plan

·   Promoting integrated development through sustainable and participatory food security program management

·    Building the capacity of the local communities to implement community owned projects

·   Promoting gender empowerment through gender sensitive projects

·   Improving food production, diversification and preservation at the household level in support of poverty alleviation

·   Networking with local and international stakeholders in the area of advocacy, good governance and mobilization of resources to promote self-supporting programs


Pictures of project implementation, people with stories of transformation, geographic area, key staff members and others as appropriate


Sustainability strategy

-       Linking project outcomes & handing over to community based organizations after  developing their technical & managerial capacity

-       Working with local government offices 


EKHCDC –Integrated Rural Development major interventions  photo gallarey





Small scale irrigation

Livestock production


Credit in kind


Women skill development


  Food security 

  - Agriculture – extension service,  crop & fruit , spice , livestock  production,Forage and pasture improvement

  -  small scale irrigation

   - technology  demonstration & adaptability trial

- conservation farming


     – area closure , afforstation , physical structures ,


     - Employment opportunity, alternative income source ,  cooperatives , credit in kind 

  Women development

   - Skill training , improved technologies , SHG , credit in kind 

  Health  -health service ,


       - Feeder road , spring capping




Afforstation& soil & water conservation structures



Beekeeping as off farm income

Heath service

Potable water supply –spring capping



Feeder road