Afar Pastoralist Development Association (ADPA)

And on into 2019!!




Address: P.O. Box 592, Code 1,110, Addis Ababa, Ethiopia

Office location: Samara, Afar Region – Liaison Office, near Global Hotel, Addis Ababa

Liaison Officer – 251 911170092/ 251 911246639 webpage:;

Facebook address: Afar Pastoralist Development Association (APDA)  

Phone numbers: 251 912840017 – Executive Director; 251 911642575 – Program Coordinator;

251 333660058/60, 251 912667437 – Administrator


And on into 2019!!

December 26th 2018

  1. Our warmest greetings from all in APDA….


As another year closes, and indeed it is Christmas as we write, we take the opportunity to greet you all and sincerely thank you for journeying on with us!! Your visits, your communication and your contribution has enabled us to share the ever – increasing challenge of the pastoralists in today’s world where seemingly the very fiber that is the Afar is by-passed for a short-term measure of ‘development’ that in the end, is out of reach for the pastoralists. Whatever, the cycle goes on with a whirling, downward spin revealing more and more destitution, seemingly without just reason.


Worldwide, 2018 has been remarkable in global happenings pushing us all into a different arena, even here in the Afar Region. Despite this, freedoms that have swept through Ethiopia with the coming of a new Prime Minister are truly sensational. When eventually the Afar Regional government changed 2 weeks ago, we are now joining the country to embrace this new-found expression of civil society with all the promises of change. Indeed, the opportunities are many but the challenges to take them up in the immediate future are formidable. As we brace ourselves for 2019, we do so in hope that it is feasible the pastoralists get the social and economic services they need within their lifestyle.  Therefore, we invite you all to join us in the pursuit of Afar pastoralists having adequate opportunity to enjoy basic human rights and reach their full potential, APDA’s newly worded organizational vision taking us through the coming 5 years. With enthusiasm, we look forward to interaction in learning and sharing that will lead us to having the resources we need to implement community – expressed goals.    


  1. Stepping out with a re-structured strategy map to guide us…


Having seen the pain of communities as further dependence stifles their aspirations of going forward with perennially weakening herds, no access to markets and bearing the burden of illiteracy blocking their way to take up new measures to come out of the ever-thickening fog of destitution, APDA now wants to deliberately embark on the road of establishing community and organizational self-sufficiency. This will involve in a program strong at community level (leadership, both male and female) and in APDA management capacity building and transformation to work with greater efficiency, effectiveness and transparency.

The program goals for the next 5 years are:

  • Improved access to basic social and economic services in geographically remote areas
  • Food security for target communities achieved through integrated nutritional-sensitive programming
  • Target communities have increased resilience as directed through their own leadership
  • Development programming appropriate to Afar pastoralist lifestyle

These program goals are aimed to contribute to the achievement of the following societal goals:

  • Opportunity of improved livelihood appropriate to their defined need is attainable for targeted Afar pastoralists
  • Afar pastoralist females know and can exercise their basic human rights
  • Afar pastoralist community leadership capable of directing social and economic change
  • Development cooperation, government services and polices recognize and appreciate the needs of Afar pastoralists

The strategy plan with all its indicators of achievement will be available on APDA’s website by February. APDA will call a donor – partner meeting in February to present the strategy and will similarly hold a regional/ local government meeting that the way forward is explicit for all.


  1. The image of pastoralist vulnerability


In December, APDA watched the Galaada Dam in Sardo sub-district of Dubte literally daily shrinking. With the absolute swarm of life that depends on the dam to water animals as well as collecting water for the house from a radius of up to 100 kilometers, it is again clear that the need for water trucking is about to arise. Winter rains, the most unreliable season of the year, seem unlikely again this year and the dam, as the community report, is drying up even faster than this time in 2017. APDA communication officer has taken this film of the situation actually giving a real impression of the daily pressures for pastoralists as they seek to keep their herds in good condition: the film can be seen on APDA You tube channel – the 12 – minute film will give you a wider idea of the pastoralist life while the 5 – minute version centers on the problem – our apologies that the software advert keeps reappearing – we cannot prescribe in USD from here. Anyway, the message is this: unless APDA urgently re-excavates this dam site as soon as it is dry, the, we are bound to water trucking as an unavoidable solution at 203.6 USD per day for one truck hired. To excavate the dam, 10,000 USD is needed. The community also suggest a second, sister dam in the valley-plain adjoining will really create sustainability both in water and grazing with the rejuvenation of indigenous trees and shrubs as the Galaada Dam has. Whatever, APDA earnestly wants to catch any rain that might fall to resurrect these communities’ opportunity of getting water within proximity for their herds and for their households.

For those seeing this and thinking in horror of people drinking dirty water, more than 85% of all Afar drink unprotected water. There were 2 attempts to sink boreholes in the vicinity of this dam but each produced undrinkable water high in fluoride as well as sub-terrain water that is over 50 degrees – challenges are so vast.

This film will hopefully sow the challenges of providing education and health services. For APDA watching the film, that there is no market –access for these people is compelling as a major underlying factor to the hindrance of development going forward.

What the new strategy demands and APDA’s intention is, is to facilitate the carving out of solutions in the hand of the affected community through the prism of disaster risk reduction compelling the community to take ownership of the problem and the solution in their own terms utilizing all they have to go forward including their traditional knowledge and governance.


  1. APDA’s wish – list for 2019


  1. Work at establishing sustainable systems in remote communities for primary and maternal health including vaccination, beginning education in Afar with opportunity to continue education,
  2. Lessen the possibility that Afar die of thirst and are impacted by waterborne diseases.
  3. Impact on the unstoppable malnutrition with sustainable veterinary services including fodder, market orientation and access; alternative and diversified diet and food production
  4. Impact on the traditions and other practices that harm females deterring them from getting their rights and leaving them no place in the overall effort to secure development
  5. Improve the strategy that treats and relieves suffering for girls and women in reproduction in the Barbara May Maternity Hospital, in waiting areas. PLEASE join us in our QUEST!!
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