Weki-Zagir Community Based Afforestation Programme
Weki, Zagir and Defere are project target villages within Maekel Regional Administration. These villages are located within 30 km distance from Asmara, the capital city. Maekel region landscape is on the highland plateau and lies within the range of 1,600 – 2,610 meters above sea level with annual rainfall range of 400-600mm. People’s livelihood depends on crops and livestock.
The environs of the target villages were covered by forest and there were extensive areas of shrub land and some wooden grassland. However, deforestation has resulted from expansion of agriculture which involved removal of forest, illicit cutting of trees for fuel-wood, and the construction of traditional houses that utilize lot of woods.
To alleviate this problem various organizations and government ministries are working diligently on the afforestation program. In areas where there is adequate rainfall with high soil moisture retention tree seedlings are able to survive but in most cases seedlings couldn’t endure the long dry period. Thus, there is a need to undertake a soil and water conservation activities and supplementary irrigation to assist the seedlings to establish deep root system. In the eastern escarpment where the target villages are located, there is a natural water resource from fog, which could be utilized for this purpose. Nature has proven this in the eastern escarpment the evergreen thick forest, which is referred locally as “bahery” is being supported both by the high land rainfall (Mid June to Mid September) and during the winter period (November to March) from fog interception. Thus, project target area has extensive marginal area that could be cultivated for tree plantation preferably with tree species that have needle-shaped leaf structure like pine and coniferous trees. Thus, this project is designed to realize this natural advantage that the eastern escarpment has with these kinds of tree species.
The overall goal of this project is to contribute to the improvement of environmental conditions and rural livelihoods through rehabilitation of degraded land, enhancement of biodiversity conservation by restoring original vegetation based on relic species. Homestead plantation of commercial importance will be highly encouraged too.
This project addresses land degradation problem through community based afforestation programme using feasible approaches of area closure and planting of selected tree species of Pinus canariensis, Juniperus procera and Olea africana.
This is 12 months project targeting a total population of 1,478 households or 7,390 people.
The major components of the project are:
a. Building the capacities of local environmental actors,
b. Conduct soil and water conservation activities (i.e construct 140 kms of terrace and 600 M3 of checkdams),
c. Digging of 35,000 pits and planting of the same amount tree species that have needle-shaped leaf and homestead plantation of commercial importance.
Total area for reforestation and enclosure is 35 ha of land.
The project needs a total of Nakfa 1,500,400.00 or USD 100,026.67 with a contribution from GEF/ SGP is USD 50,000.00 and a contribution from community and government ministries is estimated at USD 50,026.67
The Weki-Zagir Community Development mobilizes the community on ground and takes lead in the degraded land rehabilitation project. Ministry of local government- Maekel region, Branch Ministry of Land, Water, and Environment and Branch Ministry of Agriculture include labor, administrative support and technical backstopping respectively.
Hence, its impacts are eco-friendly that will sustain after the project life. The contribution made by different stakeholders especially by the community and local government reinforces the widely held conviction of project sustainability.

 
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Project Snapshot

Grantee:
WEKI ZAGIR COMMUNITY DEVELOPMENT
Country:
Eritrea
Area Of Work:
Land Degradation
Grant Amount:
US$ 50,000.00
Co-Financing Cash:
Co-Financing in-Kind:
US$ 50,026.67
Project Number:
ERI/SGP/OP5/Y2/CORE/LD/2012/11
Status:
Satisfactorily Completed
Indicators
Empowerment
Number of CBOs / NGOs participated / involved in SGP project 1
Biophysical
Hectares of land sustainably managed by project 35
Livehood
Number of households who have benefited* from SGP project 1478