Concern Worldwide has planted more than 1.5 million trees in Ethiopia over the past two years to reduce human suffering caused by the effects of climate change.
The international aid organisation, which has been in Ethiopia since 1971, planted 1,549,819 trees – an average of more than 2,100 a day - over 2018 and 2019 in areas of the country devastated by droughts, floods and other severe weather events.
The project is helping to improve soil quality, and provide food and jobs, as well as reversing the effects of climate change.
Concern staff also took part in a separate one-day initiative led by the Ethiopian government to plant millions of saplings in July last year to tackle the climate crisis.
“Trees strengthen the soil and this gives people food, jobs and safer places to live, so this is critical, life-saving work,” explained Concern’s Country Director in Ethiopia, Eileen Morrow.
Concern said it has had huge success from tree planting in Ethiopia in recent years with communities experiencing less flooding and more growth in food production and livelihoods.
“We are improving the productivity of land for crops and livestock to create greater food security and a better environment for everyone,” added Concern’s livelihoods officer in Ethiopia, Dereje Jeba.
The tree types Concern planted including the drought-resistant drumstick tree (Moringa), the silky oak (Gravilliea Robusta), junipers, avocado and mango.
The aid agency helped 573,000 people directly through its development work last year in Ethiopia.
The East African country is particularly vulnerable to weather-related shocks with over 80 per cent of the rural population dependent on rain-fed agriculture.
Ethiopia also has the added challenge of hosting almost one million refugees from other countries.
For more information, please contact Concern (UK) Senior Communications Officer in Belfast, Darren Vaughan: [email protected] or 07767 692579.