Close-up of an Ethiopian peasant who is working on a soil conservation project. - - Assistance to soil and water conservation. Reafforestation and erosion control work is being carried out in Ethiopia by the Soil Conservation Department of the Ministry of Agriculture, with assistance from FAO in training technicians and farmers in conservation techniques. Ethiopia is facing an overwhelming problem of deforestation and erosion. Two-hundred thousand hectares of forest land are being denuded every year for fuel and charcoal and pastures are being over-grazed by an ever-increasing cattle population; shifting cultivation and primitive farming to steep hillsides. The Government is making a serious effort to attack these problems and, through the WFP Food-for-Work assistance, they are mobilizing the 25 000 peasant associations in the country to terrace hillsides, plant trees on degraded land, construct check dams in gullies to stop erosion and to protect over-grazed lands from cattle so they will regenerate.