Villagization improving households’ access to basic services, food security

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Addis Ababa, 10 April 2014 (WIC) - The villagization program underway in South Omo Zone, SNNPR, is improving households’ access to basic services and food security.
“Thanks to the program which is in progress voluntarily, we are able to get access to basic services and facilities and engage in agricultural developments on the land granted by the government,” the households told WIC.
“On top of becoming beneficiaries of potable water, health and education facilities, we are cultivating crops and backyard vegetables through the help of development agents deployed at the site,” they said.
Duga Tete, who is a native of South Omo Zone and a resident of village 3, is one of the beneficiaries of the villagization program being implemented by the government of Ethiopia.
“The government gave me land and select maize seed sooner after I arrived here. Last year, I harvested eight quintals of maize. I sold six of the eight quintals and bought clothes and other materials. I utilized the remaining two quintals to feed my family,” he said.   
“I am now ready to cultivate sorghum, pea, onion and other backyard vegetables in the future through the help of development agents,” he added.
“We had no access to infrastructural facilities in the past since we were living scattered. But now we are benefiting from the education, health and potable facilities built near our village,” he added. 
Sumne is among the households benefiting from the villagization program underway in her local area. “I am benefiting from the health facility built at the village. I take prenatal checkup every month,” she said.
“My three children are currently enrolled in the school that was built by the government at the village,” she said.
“Previously, we were moving from place to place in search of pasture and water for our cattle. But now, this problem is solved. Moreover, we become beneficiaries of animal clinic,” Bulalu Alchanga from village 2, said.
Village Two Site Coordinator, Wondimagegn Getachew, said the households are currently cultivating various crops and vegetables on the land they were given based on their family size, he said.
Efforts are underway to engage the households in sugarcane development so that they can supply sugarcane for the sugar factory being built near the area, he said.
According to the coordinator, birth related deaths have significantly declined following the construction of health facilities at the site.