Afar Soil Rehabilitation Project (ASRP)

Enhancing resilience to environmental change and degradation of natural resources

The challenge

The lowland Afar Region is one of the least developed regions in Ethiopia. It has a population of almost 1.8 million people, over half of whom live below the absolute poverty line.

Annual temperatures range from 25°C to 50°C. Half of the soils is categorized as marginal; the rest is largely dry savannah. Rainfall hardly exceeds 300 mm per year and is highly variable, both in quantity and geographical distribution.

Economically and socially, the people of Afar Region depend almost exclusively on pastoralism. This is currently coming under pressure, as livelihoods are mainly based on herds of camels, cows, sheep and goats, whose sources of fodder and water are increasingly at risk due to degrading natural resources and encroaching invasive plants.

Recurring droughts and heavy floods, which erode the land as much as vegetation, are continually on the rise. Local population lacks the capacity and adaptation mechanisms to respond to these changes in climate and of their environment.

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