Adado, Gedeo

Adado in 2013

The landscape of Adado PA is almost mountainous, with slopy internal paths and a main road crossing the PA, 95 % agro-forestry of coffee and Enset crops unique to the community, a river catchment crossing the PA, homes constructed on mountain areas and compact neighbourhood of community members in flat areas and lack of any grazing or free area within the community. It is a very green environment. The soil is very fertile and suitable to grow coffee, Enset, Maize, vegetables, fruits (including Apple, Avocado, banana, Mango, Gisheta, Zaitune), Kerkeha plant, Eucalyptus, and other highland crops. However, the community members reported that there is no extra land to plant other crops than coffee and Enset.

There was a small urban centre with 90 households. The health centre was the only modern building though many houses (grouped in flat areas, scattered elsewhere) had tin-roofs. A dry-weather road connected Adado to the Dilla-Bule gravel road; the community had to do public works every year to maintain it and complained that although the area was producing exported niche coffee, the government did not help. There was no public transport; access by cars and motorcycles was sometimes impossible in the rainy season. In most places there were no internal roads. There had been electricity since 2003 (120 meters – 10% of households but an estimated 70% actually connected, not available in the remotest areas, unreliable in dry season) and a poor mobile connection in some spots (since 2008, 200 users in 2013). There were annual fluctuations in rainfall but no reported climate change impact except an unusual malaria epidemic in 2012 and the unusually heavy and long rains in 2013.

The population (1,150 official households of which 100 female-headed and 170 landless) was 100% Gedeo, 95% Protestant and 5% Muslim (though Islam preceded Christianity in the area). Due to the growing economy the proportions of very rich (estimated 5%), rich (10%) and middle-wealth (44%) households had increased. Families were large but the age of marriage was reportedly increasing as it was more difficult for young men to get land or establish an independent livelihood. Children were better cared for.Almost all were at school, many also working.Most passed Grade 8 but many failed Grade 10 and did not find jobs, while there was unmet demand at the wereda for college/ university graduates. Youth aspirations had changed but were not easily met. Women’s rights were legally established but going against customs, thus implemented only if the woman had the confidence to push. Nourishing diet was one of the health packages and richer households diversified what they ate; bread had become common. In 2012/3 six water points were built with community labour, but they functioned only from April to September 2013 after which the main pipe was washed away by a landslide. There was only one HEW, supposed to work with the new 1-5s but she was not and was struggling to serve the whole kebele. Recently, increased attention was given to maternal health instead of sanitation and hygiene, although in November 2013 the HEW said that the ‘skilled delivery’ package was the least popular in Adado – even though there was a health centre in the kebele centre and it was better staffed and equipped in April 2013.

Land measurement, started in 2006, was stopped due to problems in registering polygynous wives. The local economy had grown with better coffee price in 2005-2011; and diversified, with rich farmers engaging in trade, services and livestock activities, and poorer families engaged in non-/off-farm activities to supplement their small agricultural incomes; but it remained highly dependent on coffee (for cash) and enset (staple food). Since 2011 the coffee price on the international market had been falling. 95% of the land was planted with coffee and enset; the latter was not included in the extension package, but affected by disease with no solution so farmers produced suckers locally. Much attention was given to coffee production and the extension service helped (new seeds, regular training on use of compost and local seedlings to avoid diseases, improved planting, harvesting and handling techniques). The Adado Farmers’ Union, re-established in 2008, had a coffee processing plant used by 8 other kebeles. Farmers appreciated the possibility of selling coffee there although a private plant in a nearby area had had higher prices in 2012 and there had reportedly been embezzlement of funds so the Union did not have sufficient funds to pay for farmers’ coffee until they had sold it on. In October 2013 a kebele meeting was told that all fresh coffee had to be sold to the Union. Dry coffee was sold in Dilla. Farmers had reduced the area planted with maize as there had been frequent problems with bad improved seeds that they were nonetheless forced to take, and they could not use fertiliser except in areas strictly separated from coffee. Fertiliser was expensive and credit had stopped in 2012. 150 households practised homestead watering of vegetables and fruit and 12 households had dug wells for this but river catchments were not suitable for irrigation without pumps.

The animal population was reducing due to land and fodder shortage although short-term fattening was widespread. The nearest vet service was in Bule. There was contradictory information about the AGP, in April 2013 said to be soon introduced to do lots of things, but with not much to show by November. DAs found wereda plans unrealistic and ignoring the local context. There was more wage labour due to more intensive farming. More than 200 people were involved in business activities (trade, shops, tea-houses, mini-restaurants, TV places, drinking and bakery houses, skilled work, petty services); 100 people provided transport services (80 donkeys, 10 bicycles and 10 motor-cycles). Much of the activity followed the coffee cycle; the harvest season also gave daily labour opportunities (collecting and work at plant) to very many local people (including many children dropping out) and in-migrants. 200-250 people worked as government employees elsewhere. Land shortage and lack of local jobs pushed many young men to migrate for land elsewhere, in town and for gold mining; the latter was said to have increased in the past few years. A few young women migrated to towns every year, which was new. Up to very recently there was no support to non-farm activities; in October 2013 a new wereda ‘rural youth job opportunity’ sector gave credit to 13 groups of 3-5 male youth who had saved 20% of the capital needed for grain trading, fattening, restaurants/teashops; young women had not been able to save enough yet. OMO used to provide credit but had stopped due to bad debt; two local savings and credit associations were short-lived (2006-2010); a few people were saving at OMO but most used other means to save and get loans including various kinds of equb.

With occasional tensions (e.g. Protestant church’s split; Muslims feeling insulted by Tsega followers), religious groups intermixed in iddir and equb. There were many male and female iddirs, with little interaction with the government. The Aba Gada, which was much appreciated by government as many social problems were solved through the system, died in 2012 but was going to be replaced. Elders were active in dispute resolution, reporting to the social or wereda courts for referred cases. Among new things were preference for work over leisure, the perceived desirability of urban lifestyles and a much greater flow of information through TVs, FM radios on mobile phones and greater linkages with urban areas. Young people were active in bringing new modern things.

In 2005 EPRDF won by a narrow margin; in 2010 and 2013 there was no opposition candidate. The community kebele Cabinet members faced a high workload in spite of the plan that the kebele manager would do most of the day-to-day work. There was gossip about corruption by kebele leaders but no action and no change in the 2013 election. Since 2010 three zones, development teams and 1-5s had been established and were supposed to be the main vehicle for development interventions, especially, agriculture for household heads’ structures and health for women’s structures. They were also meant to be used to mobilise farmers for group farm work and people for Public Works, meetings etc. Some government officials reported some activity but most people could not describe how the structures were supposed to function and some said they were not functional. In spite of the supposed distinction between development and party structures in practice both talked about development and people referred to hiwas (party cells) and not development teams. It was not clear whether Public Works were compulsory (absentees brought to prison by militia) or not. There was appreciation of electricity, safe water, the coffee plant, the HEW door-to-door approach but complaints about roads, poor school, forced participation in maize and fertiliser interventions, and the lack of kebele/government concern for the youth; and a feeling that elected officials had not matched expectations.

Regional and wereda programmes included road and water investment (SLM) and economic diversification (AGP). Ideas about diversification away from coffee included: fishery ponds, beekeeping, apples, bananas, mangoes, bamboo and eucalyptus, ginger (under coffee plants), livestock fattening (based on artificial nutrition); considerable scope for pump irrigation; and MSEs for youth. However there had been little diversification in Adado by November 2013.

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Adado in 1995

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Adado in 2013

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