In 2000, HasNa began a long-term project aimed at improving the effectiveness of Water User Associations (WUA) in the Sanliurfa region of Turkey. The Southeast Anatolia Water Resource Management Project brings diverse groups of irrigation and agricultural engineers to the United States for training in water management, sustainable agriculture, farmer outreach, managerial skills and conflict resolution skills.

HasNa focuses on training young adults because they have the greatest potential to become influential members in their communities. The program was expanded in 2002 to focus on the training of water engineers in conflict resolution and management skills.

Feedback from participants has consistently been high, describing the HasNa training as a “life transforming” experience. In response to such feedback, our program in 2005 hosted all nine chairmen of the WUAs in the Sanliurfa province.

Topics addressed during training include:

  • Providing water for irrigation to local farmers in a timely and fair manner
  • Eliminating wasteful irrigation techniques that degrade the fertility of the soil
  • Understanding proper irrigation and cultivation techniques
  • Working effectively in teams
  • Improving cooperation and communication among WUAs and farmers
  • The Greenhouse Project

The Greenhouse Project began in 2008 when Mustafa Calpan, a GAP engineer and graduate of our Farm Extension Worker training program, proposed that HasNa sponsor the construction of a greenhouse for a widowed woman named Esmer Kaydas living outside of Diyarbakir, Turkey with her family. Calpan enlisted the help of the local government, which offered land, seeds and technical expertise to match the construction material provided by HasNa. Besides offering much needed financial security for the family that received the greenhouse, the project offers a compelling model for a more efficient and productive form of year-round agriculture that other farmers in the region can benefit from. A number of local farmers attended the greenhouse’s opening, which also included a reception at which the benefits of greenhouse agriculture were explained. Since then at least 10 farmers have contact Mr. Calpan to express their interest in starting greenhouses of their own. This project shows how women and HasNa graduates can take a leading role in finding new and innovative ways to provide for their families.