Ethiopia has enormous potential for agricultural development. At present only about 25 per cent of its arable land is cultivated.

IFAD, 2014

In summary, this is a project to build a system that will map where shallow borehole irrigation needs to be placed by development agencies, that in turn will enable better food supply. 60% of this goal is now assured by long-term funding.

Since 2011, Ethiopia has been facing what may be the worst drought in 30 years. The country’s population of over 7 million people are surviving on aid based feeding schemes – with 700,000 more starving. This is especially problematic as agriculture employs 80% of the workforce; the majority of whom are small farmers.

The Ethiopian Ministry of Agriculture promotes a viable solution: to reduce rain-fed and increase sustainable shallow borehole irrigation (Ethiopia has over 20 billion cubic meters of renewable sub-surface water!). Our maps will be able to show policy makers and international donors where the most sensible places to invest could be — supported by science.

Since 2012 we have spent considerable time and money on our Ethiopia initiative, building partnerships and helping our partner organisations to begin a research programme into the use of artificial intelligence. This will help to swiftly locate shallow aquifers for irrigation for small farms.

Today our goal is to use these initiatives and work with our partners in the University of Arba Minch Water Technology Institute and George Mason University to map a small area of southern Ethiopia to show where farmers can have the best chances for shallow irrigation water.”

What will your donation do?

Your donation helps us build these maps. Our maps allow other charities to know where to focus their efforts, for example where to sub-surface water is located or where aid is needed most. Our maps ensure that donations to other charities are not wasted.

Working with George Mason University, we have helped them raise funds for an artificial intelligence development programme over 4 years. All we need now is £140,000 to pay for a 2 year launch for a standing team at the University of Arba Minch.