Vita in Eritrea:
Vita has been working in Eritrea since 2000, as a part of its goal to tackle hunger and build sustainable livelihoods in the Horn of Africa. Vita works towards household and energy security by cooperating intensively with local government and local civil society partners who implement most of the project work on the ground. Projects currently being implemented in Eritrea include:
Stoves are built by local women, using locally-available supplies. Vita trains women in the construction techniques required for building the stoves. As the stoves only use half the fuel of traditional cooking stoves, less fuel is required and less smoke is emitted. This means that fewer trees need to be felled for a community’s energy requirements, and less time is spent collecting firewood. This allows women and children to spend more time doing other household tasks, studying or participating in income-generating activities.
Vita first introduced drip irrigation technology into Eritrea as a method to irrigate without the depletion of scarce water reserves. By constructing a dam and supplying farmers with materials required for irrigation, farmers are able to enjoy a reliable and accessible source of water throughout the year, which allows for increased agricultural production. The success of the project has led to the Ministry of Agriculture adopting this technology and replicating it across the country.
Vita is aiming to develop a national mechanism to avail of carbon finance for the distribution of improved stoves. Each improved stove can contribute to a reduction in CO2 emissions through improved fuel efficiency. The stoves can therefore finance the continued expansion of improved stoves through offsetting carbon.
Seed and Crop Development:
This research-led initiative promotes food security by distributing improved seeds of potatoes and cereals. Once harvested, the improved seed is shared amongst the community, allowing for a larger group of farmers to share in the benefits and improved household food security.
Promoting Capacity Building and Scalability:
In Eritrea, Vita implements its projects in partnership with local government and community bodies. This approach creates ownership amongst the community, and promotes the long-term sustainability of the project. Ownership and sustainability of projects strongly enhance the likelihood that the project can be scaled up and replicated across the country, increasing the number of people that can be reached by one project.