People working on farm

Strengthening stewardship to protect Lake Hawassa

Natural Resources Stewardship requires the continuous engagement of stakeholders from all different walks of life. Since its establishment in 2018, Protecting Lake Hawassa Partnership (PLH) brings together stakeholders from the private, the public sector and civil society. PLH aims to safeguard Lake Hawassa’s ecosystem and to ensure sustainable economic growth in Hawassa City and its catchment.

In order to discuss PLH’s long-term strategic direction, monitor undertaken activities and evaluate the partnership’s progress, regular meetings are held. From 10 to 12 March 2021, all partners hence came together for the partnership’s bi-annual steering committee meeting. This represented also the quarterly taskforce meeting on Solid Waste Management and Afforestation and Soil Erosion Control (ASEC).

Stewardship meeting on protecting Lake Hawassa
4th PLH steering committee meeting.
Copyright: NatuReS Ethiopia

During the meeting, Professor Mulugeta from Hawassa University gave an update on the ecohydrological approach to soil erosion control the partnership has embarked on. This approach, introduced by Hawassa University with the support of GIZ-NatuReS, aims to transform gullies back into productive land.

Presentation to protect Lake Hawassa
Prof. Mulugeta presenting the ecohydrological approach to soil erosion control.
Copyright: NatuReS Ethiopia

The ecohydrological approach consists in using natural materials and slim structures for soil erosion control which do not impede farming practices. This makes it a preferable alternative to the conventional method of stone and iron gabions. The approach gained a lot of support from local farmers, many of whom are showing interest to apply similar interventions on their land. Learning from the good experience, the ecohydrological approach has also been adopted by a neighboring district.

People working on soil erosion control to protect Lake Hawassa
Farmers implementing the ecohydrological approach to soil erosion control on their farm.
Copyright: NatuReS Ethiopia

The active participation of the task force members plays an important role in building a strong partnership. The meeting concluded with the participants’ agreement to further strengthen PLH through continued commitment, collaboration and communication.

Representatives of NatuReS and PVH handing over the water pumps to HWSSSE Copyright: NatuReS Ethiopia

Improving WASH service in Hawassa city

“Wash your hands” has become one of the most used phrases during the current Covid-19 pandemic. The importance of water, sanitation and hygiene (WASH) to reduce the risk of infectious diseases has become a well-established fact and is even more emphasized since the outbreak of the pandemic.

However, access to potable water is a long-standing challenge for the city of Hawassa with its more than 300.000 inhabitants in central Ethiopia. To improve access to WASH services and minimize the risk of a Covid-19 infection, NatuReS and PVH supported the Hawassa Water Supply and Sewerage Service Enterprise (HWSSSE) with two submersible, one surface pump and corresponding accessories worth approx. 85.000 euros.

Representatives of NatuReS and PVH handing over the water pumps to HWSSSE Copyright: NatuReS Ethiopia
Representatives of NatuReS and PVH handing over the water pumps to HWSSSE
Copyright: NatuReS Ethiopia

A ceremony to hand over the equipment was held on February 10th, 2021, attended by high government officials, including Dr. Beshah Behailu, Commissioner at the Water Development Commission, and Prof. Tsegaye Tuke, Deputy Mayor of Hawassa City. Representatives from Sidama regional government as well as from different media were present.

NatuReS country coordinator in Ethiopia James Njeru explaining the different activities to improve water access undertaken in the area Copyright: NatuReS Ethiopia
NatuReS country coordinator in Ethiopia James Njeru explaining the different activities to improve water access undertaken in the area
Copyright: NatuReS Ethiopia

During the ceremony, several representatives underlined the importance of NatuReS’ and PVH’s support to improve water access in Hawassa city. The city administration moreover pledged to provide additional resources to ensure the operationality and maintenance of the pumps in the future. The pumps will improve water supply service for about 81,000 residents of Hawassa City. 

Site visit to boreholes that will supply residents of Hawassa with potable water due to operation of the pumps Copyright: NatuReS Ethiopia
Site visit to boreholes that will supply residents of Hawassa with potable water due to operation of the pumps
Copyright: NatuReS Ethiopia
PPE distribution ceremony for waste collectors in Addis Ababa

Safe waste collection

Waste collectors are among those that do not have the luxury of working from home. Every day, they go from door to door doing the essential work of waste collection. In Ethiopia, these waste workers do not have, if at all, sufficient personal protective equipment (PPE). This makes them and their families vulnerable to the COVID-19 pandemic.

PPE distribution ceremony for waste collectors in Addis Ababa
Copyright: NatuReS Ethiopia

NatuReS Ethiopia provided personal protective equipment (PPE) to waste collectors in Addis Ababa and Hawassa to support safe waste collection during the COVID-19 pandemic. Three trainings on safe waste collection and proper use of PPE were also provided to waste collectors. Because women have less access to information than men, one of the trainings was targeted exclusively at women. 250 women collectors participated.

Targeting women in trainings for gender inclusion
Copyright: NatuReS Ethiopia
Demonstrating proper use of PPE to reduce exposure to Covid-19
Copyright: NatuReS Ethiopia

NatuReS effort to support safe waste collection during this pandemic didn’t go unnoticed. NatuReS was acknowledged during the world clean-up day event, receiving a certificate of appreciation from the Mayor of Addis Ababa.

NatuReS receiving a certificate of appreciation for supporting safe waste collection
Copyright: NatuReS Ethiopia

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NatuReS is commissioned by the German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ) and co-funded by the European Union and the UK Foreign, Commonwealth & Development Office (FCDO). This website’s contents are the sole responsibility of GIZ and do not necessarily reflect the views of the BMZ, European Union or FCDO.

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