Sugar projects creates more jobs for residents

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Addis Ababa, 30 June 2014 (WIC) –Communities residing around Tana-Beles and Arjo-dedessa sugar development areas are gaining more benefits from the projects.
“We are living a better life and improving our livelihoods by participating directly and indirectly in the projects’ activities,” they told WIC recently.

Mekonnen Jember, a peasant who lives around Tana-Beles, said his daughter who was idle before now earns 3, 000 birr a month as she was hired by the project to plant sugarcane.
Mekonnen was relocated from his village in connection with the project but the project offered him land for crop development and 600,000 birr compensation.

“We (he and his family) are enjoying a better and stable life by engaging in crop development and small business with the money I was paid in compensation,” he said.
Thanks to the project, we are now able to send our children to school and we are also getting water, electricity, education and health facilities, he indicated.

Teshager Admassu, who got 1.3 million birr as compensation, said sending children to school was unthinkable before as the schools were very far from the village.
But now we are living at a village where schools and clinics are existed, he said.

Halima Hassen, a mother of five, who lives around Arjo-dedessa sugar project, said “I was very poor and could not send my children to school before the commencement of the project.”
But now I and my daughter are earning 3,000 birr a month each participating in the project’s sugarcane plantation activities, she said.

Mulugeta Zemen, on is part said he is earning over 100 birr daily following the commencement of the project. He is now able to send his children to school.
In addition to the job opportunities, the residents are benefiting from the infrastructure facilities and community services built in connection with the project, coordinator of sugarcane plantation team at Arjo-dedessa sugar project, Awel Hassen, said.