Koraro, Ethiopia


The Koraro cluster is located in the Hawzien district in northern Ethiopia, an area surrounded by jagged escarpments and dusty land. The region is semi-arid with a short rainy season, receiving about 500 millimeters of rain per year. It is prone to severe drought.

The main crops that are produced are teff and maize. The Koraro cluster, which is located in one of the poorest regions of Ethiopia, suffers from a severely degraded soil, high malaria and maternal mortality rates, lack of classrooms, unsafe drinking water, and extremely poor infrastructure.

The 11 villages span an area of several hundred square kilometers, stitched together by nearly non-existent roads, which make traveling between the villages and local commercial centers, such as Hawzien and Mekelle (100km away), very difficult. Koraro is located about 16km from a dry weather road, and about 54km from the main road. With such long distances and very limited access to communications technologies, Koraro is effectively cut off from the rest of the world.

More Highlights

  • To diversify income sources, more than 1,200 bee colonies have been established.
  • 80 women were trained in managing dairy cows, poultry production, fattening animals and trading textiles and grains.
  • Construction was completed for five health posts and six primary schools.
  • “Girls’ Clubs” were established in all schools, resulting in a significant decrease in dropouts.
  • About 6,000 people who used to have to walk more than two hours a day to find clean water have access now to safe water.
  • Thanks to new techniques, the area under irrigation increased sevenfold to over 1,800 hectares, and farmers have diversified their crops and seen their income increase by 72% on average.
  • More than 20km of roads are under construction or being maintained.

Photos from Koraro