Addis Ababa University Community Service Extensively works on Watershed

Addis Ababa University (AAU) Office of the Vice President of Research and Technology Transfer, Community Service Directorate, visited the Watershed activity underway in collaboration with various institutions in Amhara National Regional State 15-17 Oct 2021.

A five-member study team sent by the University visited development projects which are ongoing in the Tana Basin in West Gojjam Zone, North Achefer Woreda, Kunzila and its environs run by Kunzila Integrated Land Management (KILM), under Water and Land Resource Center (WLRC) of AAU.

During the visit, the team not only witnessed the work being done in the basin but also consulted with the experts and beneficiaries to collect actual information about the activity accomplished by the KILM project.

Mr. Tekeba Tebabal, General Manager of KILM, Safe Water Supply and Sanitation Regional Bureau, along with his colleagues, gave a briefing on the work being done by AAU in collaboration with various organizations in the basin.

According to the General Manager, KILM is a five-year integrated development project implemented in collaboration with the regional government and the government of Kingdom of the Netherlands as well as WLRC.

As stated by Mr. Tekeba, the overall objective and goal of the project is to enable the people of Kunzila and the surrounding area to grow in income, own healthy and quality life style in the next five years.

Integrated project work, increasing agricultural production and productivity, making safe drinking water accessible, cooperating with institutions in a scientific manner, capacity building, conducting scientific monitoring and evaluation, etc. are the main activities of the project, the Manager said.

The main function of integrated Watershed is to protect land degradation and water loss, increase agricultural production and productivity, and enable farmers to use technology resources wisely, Mr. Tekeba confirmed.

According to Mr. Tekeba, the project is benefiting more than 32,000 residents of 6 kebeles found in the 12 Watersheds of Kunzila and its environs.

Work is underway to rehabilitate depleted natural resources, protecting gully using cabin and wood terracing, practicing protected grazing land, digging boreholes, growing forage, digging soil bend and so on, as stated by Dr. Aseffa Derebe, Deputy Manager of KILM.

“In this way, efforts are made to ensure that any course of water entering the Lake Tana is clean and does not carry any soil in the near future,” Dr. Aseffa added.

Dr. Aseffa also stated that about 400 farmers are well trained to feed their animals beyond themselves applying scientific methods by growing fodder such as elephant grass, cowpea, pigeon pea, Rhodes grass, Spania and others.

The team found that the project has been successful in seven months in the areas of environmental protection, modern agriculture, health care, safe drinking water, fodder preparation, nursery site establishment, grazing land use, gravel roads construction connecting villages with main roads and so on.

The project has led the farmers to produce a wide range of vegetables and fruits on homestead so that they can grow and use vegetables that they have never grown before, such as beetroot, cabbage, carrot, avocado, banana, coffee and others.

According to the feedback from the beneficiary farmers, they are happy with all that KILM is doing in their area. They wish that the project activity and its duration of stay in the area be extended to ten years.

By: Abraham Girmay

Photo: Fikremariam Beyene