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08 Dec 2022

Dembel Emboch (Water Hyacinth) Products Pilot

The following shares an update of the progress in the Dembel Emboch (Water Hyacinth) Products Pilot. We are very glad to share the work that has been carried out in the harvesting & drying process of the water hyacinth, and the second entrepreneurship skills training for the youth businesses.

Entrepreneurship training The second entrepreneurship training was organized on November 17th in Batu/Ziway with the youth business groups that participated in the first training, and are preparing to set up the briquette making business. A total of 43 youth (38 men and 5 women) joined the training. In the morning we shared a recap of the previous entrepreneurship training. Thereafter, we held a group exercise on the advantages and disadvantages of being a worker (job) or having your own business (entrepreneur), to create a business mindset and awareness regarding business. We continued with cost calculations for the businesses. In the afternoon we moved on to training regarding organizational issues. First, the business groups reflected on the work; working together, successes, challenges, learning and solutions. Then we formulated together ten basic rules to develop a better working attitude.

For the past six weeks, intensive harvesting of water hyacinth was done. 33 young people participated in the daily harvesting work. Women engaged in the cutting process, with harvesting from 6:00am to 11:00am.  Two drying sheds were constructed near the harvesting place, so that after cutting the roots, the harvested water hyacinth can be dried near the lake before being taken to the briquette making site.

Safety Materials The main issue repeatedly raised by the youth was that of safety at work. When collecting water hyacinth they were exposed to different insects and snakes in the muddy water, and their clothes were made dirty. Keeping these problems in mind, necessary safety materials were provided to all the youth. The materials included gloves, boots, and overalls.

Handicraft Previously, water hyacinth growth conditions were not sufficient for handicrafts, therefore we focused on briquette making. In recent months, however, we managed to harvest good quality water hyacinth, and we have now started to identify women (groups) that can make handycraft products from the collected and dried water hyacinth. We talked to women who have the skills and interest for this work, and they prepared some samples items to demonstrate (see in the pictures below). In the coming weeks we plan to organize a training for women who participate in the handcraft making.

Equipment Over the past five weeks there has been a trial to make briquettes from different organic materials. During this test period, a problem was noted regarding the canonization vessels. We were able to confirm this issue during an experiment conducted in the presence of Mrs. Ans Hendrikse (PUM expert). In the end, two canonization vessels were identified, one of which was taken back to the steel company for modification.

Shed Construction Haile Resort has been carrying out the construction of the shed. Last week, this construction was completed and the shed is now ready for use. On behalf of all project partners, we want to thank Haile resort for thier great contribution and collaboration.

This post provides only a brief description of developments in the project. Should you wish to know more about the project activities, you are welcome to contact us for further information

Consultant: Inge Baaijens

F&S Ethiopia office: ethiopia@fairandsustainable.org

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