Support for Nutrition-Afar Pastoralist Children and Mothers
An innovative approach to unlocking undernutrition and malnutrition among Afar children and women in Ethiopia through promoting Moringa.
I confirm that I am fully aware of the eligibility criteria, and based on its description, I am eligible to apply to the CSV Prize 2017.
AISDA-Action for Integrated Sustainable Development Asso.
Growth (the pilot has already launched and is starting to expand)
Annual budget in 2017 (USD)
Number of beneficiaries impacted so far
Nonprofit, NGO, or citizen sector
Secondary Focus Area
Headquarters location: Country
Headquarters location: City
Location(s) of impact
Ethiopia: Talalak district, Afar regional state
Moringa for food
Moringa for food
New fruit and Moringa sites
Water harvesting for irrigation
Problem: What problem is this initiative trying to address?
Afar region is dry land. Mainly due to climate change and human factors, Afar pastoral communities are affected by cyclical droughts continuing to threaten their livestock based livelihoods causing massive death of livestock, shortage of pasture and water leading to food insecurity. In Afar the majority of the population is dependent on food aid (grain). 41% of children are stunted (DHS, 2016). Children and lactating mothers are commonly malnourished. Talalak is one of the most impoverished districts in Afar region.
Solution Summary: What is the proposed solution? What do you see as its most promising aspects for creating shared value?
Cognizant of under nourished children, lactating and pregnant women in the region, AISDA launched a an innovative project named "Linking Agriculture with Nutrition in Talalak (LANT)" funded by the USAID. The project in completely new its kind in Afar region. It has been proposed to provide drought resistant, cheap and simple remedies for food and micro-nutrient deficiency among lactating and pregnant women; and children in the district. Main intervention is introducing the highly nutritious plant called Moringa Oleifera in combination with fruits and vegetables; and promoting the diversification of diets. In addition to massive plantation of moringa trees and fruits, massive awareness creation is creating shared value among stakeholders. AISDA’s belief is, better nutrition would lead to improved health, enhances children's ability to learn, to become more productive as adults which in turn would help people escape poverty over time. The solution can be replicated in other Afar areas.
Impact: What is the impact of the work to date? Specify both the social and the environmental impact of your work
For about 49,000 direct and 92, 000 indirect beneficiaries, to date the project plated 1.1 million Moringa trees and thousands of fruit trees. Awareness improved through intensive community conversations, door-to-door education; support to school clubs, institutional enhancement to health facilities in rural areas, installed Moringa mills, and establishment and training to cooperatives divided in to producing, processing and marketing groups. A recent independent evaluation has revealed that People have now started consuming Moringa as meal and fruits in their daily diet. 73% respondents agreed Moringa's contribution to improved nutrition to their children and 41.5% have started consuming Moringa in their regular meals. Nearly 82% of them have planted 1-3 trees. 79.4% of respondents have the interest to buy and consume Moringa in the future. Massive plantation has created Moringa forest contributing to improved micro climate in the desert and a home to small animals like rabbits.
Financial sustainability plan: How is this initiative financially supported? How will you ensure its financial sustainability long-term?
The project has been funded by the USAID. The project is designed considering long term financial sustainability as its new for Afar herder communities . By design, we have set up 11 cooperatives each having self help groups with specified tasks of production, processing and marketing. All cooperatives are equipped with training and tools. In addition to their own contributions, the cooperatives are provided with seed money for running their already established Moringa and fruit farms, packaging and branding, run their mills and diversify marketing areas. Again, our work on shared value has attracted the government to recognize the initiative for sustainability. The prize money is key for finalizing our gained success for more 2-3 years till full achievement of objectives and replicate it.
Unique value proposition: What makes your initiative innovative? How does your project differ from other organizations working in the same field?
In Afar, to tackle the problem of under-nutrition and malnutrition the common approach has been providing children, pregnant and lactating women with free nutrient-rich food aid by INGOs. We believe, that approach has been unsustainable, expensive, insufficient and creates dependency. We are unique in trying to avoiding dependency, promoting self sustenance, solving nutrition gap by introducing a very nutritious, environmentally sound, cost effective, economically possible and simple approach.
Founding story: Share a story about the "Aha!" moment that sparked the beginning of this initiative.
I am the founder of AISDA. We have been experiencing trying innovative approaches and projects that brought relative success to date. Example, we received an international health impacts award in 2012 as a result of an innovative approach in addressing health problem. Our team is keen to trying to new ways of solving community challenges. The nutrition project is no exception. We were all looking for ways to permanently solve the nutrition gap among children and mothers in Afar until we studied Moringa to be the best and simplest solution to it. We believe it brings a shift in eating habit. The miracle tree "Moringa" is far richer in contents of major micro-nutrients compared to foods like milk, fruits, egg and other foods. The trust and initiative from local partners to commonly share our new ideas has been very encouraging. For us, there is no hard to reach community. Yes, we can!
Where did you hear about the Nestlé Creating Shared Value Prize?