The Banana King

Tuka Village, Ethiopia

Meet the Top Banana - I have been trying to meet Wakela several times, but unfortunately I could not meet him whenever I traveled to his village to see his strong work. Wakela lives in Tuka Village and he is 46 years old. He is married and has five children. I just had a very good time with him and I invite you to read the entire story.  

I discovered that his life was very difficult for him before he met the Transformational Community Development (TCD) workers. At one time, he had more than 100 cows. His family support was dependent on these cows. More than three times he lost ALL of his cows to drought. This was a tremendous challenge, as he was totally dependent on his livestock.

One day, our GHNI TCD worker, Wako, met him and discussed with him about TCD. He was excited and asked him with great interest to give some training. Wako decided to help him and start teaching him this different mechanism to sustain his life. From the five TCD areas, first he was interested to engage himself on food (agriculture).

He started digging the land with all his family. For the first time, they produced 900 banana trees, 400 mango trees, and 380 papaya trees. They sold seedlings and got 6,200 Birr (about $300), nearly a half years’ income. He was interested to cultivate more banana trees. He planted 700 banana trees and they are all growing very well. Since he started this activity, he harvested two times and got 17,000 Birr (about $840) and 23,000 Birr (nearly $1,100), respectively.

Before he started farming, all his children were watching the cattle in the bush. Now he can send all his children to school. Finally, he built two bedroom houses near to his farm.

Wakela is just one of more than 120 involved in our income generating group. Things have gone so well, we are planning on graduating Tuka as a TCD village, and we have started to do assessments on new potential villages that want to help themselves become self-sustainable.



GHNI TCD Worker, Tuka, Ethiopia