“Sugar Factories Brought Us Many Opportunities”

afarpatAfar pastoralists living around both Kessem and Tendaho sugar factories disclosed that they, in many ways, become the most beneficiaries due to the sugar factories erected around their surroundings. 

The factories have paved ways to pastoralists living around to get opportunities of working as sugarcane out growers, employees of various work units of the factories and  cane plantation fields including many other job opportunities. According to the pastoralists, along with the various job opportunities, the factories have enabled them to get access to social services and infrastructures moving no more from one place to another as they used to.

Asnna Mohamed is from Afar nationality. She is one among other sixty females who are recruited as regular employees of the “Green Development“ work unit at the compound of Kessem Sugar Factory. She says “ earlier especially women living around this area had never got job opportunities for there was no any development activity around; but now employed as regular staff at the factory I have constructed my own house where I can lead my life enjoying the benefits of the social service institutions and infrastructures brought to us because of the sugar factory”. She further added “ I am now able to send my kids to the school built at my village”.

The other female who get job opportunity as a tractor operator at Kessem Sugar Factory is Mekedes Woldie who is from Kembatta nationality. Attending the  theoretical and practical training programs at Adama University and Metehara Sugar Factory respectively, she is now working now as regular staff of the factory’s cane plantation field. According to her there  is a female tractor operator working with her passing through the training programs and tells with confidence that she is capable of carrying out her duties like men staffs of same carrier. Mekedes calls on other women to take a lesson from her experience.

Arbaei Ali is among the five women who are recruited as security officers of Kessem Sugar Factory. Disclosing the rigorous military training she, along with other male trainees, has passed through before her employment as security officer of the factory, she explains the various job opportunities the youth many in number in her village have got. According to her the factory has brought not only wide job opportunities but also social service institutions and infrastructures. Hence, she is carrying out her job with devotion realizing the bright future the factory has brought with to the natives of the area.

Likewise, Mominna Humed had been cultivating maize on the irrigable land she has been given around Tendaho Sugar Factory. But now, joining the Gablaitu Out Growers Association, she becomes a sugarcane out grower being convinced that she is going to benefit more from the latter.

According to her she has joined the association after participating the discussion forum  held with the management of the factory as well as concerned bodies of the regional government. She is getting monthly payment while working on her own cane cultivation land and will latter on sell her cane to the factory when it is ready for crushing.

Mominna says “I used to travel long distance to attend my class earlier; but now, for there are various social institutions constructed around the area I am living, I am attending my classes at the school built near my village”. She is a ninth grade student and has planned to go ahead with her education so that she could also be able to work at the various work units of the factory in the future.

Ali Miei Mahi is a member of same sugarcane out grower association around Tendaho Sugar Factory owning one hectare of irrigable land at which,  convinced of its far more benefits, he is  cultivating cane to the factory.

Ali is attending his night shift accounting class  enrolled at Adadali Technical and Vocational College and is able to lead a better life covering his school fee and other expenditures  from the monthly payment he is earning working on his own cane plantation land.

Over 1.3 Billion Birr is spent to construct social service institutions and infrastructures at Dubtti District of Afar Regional State only so as to enable pastoralists of the area voluntarily join  the villagization program carried out there.