International workshop on Climate Change and Technology Innovation in Hydro-Environmental Engineering

Addis Ababa University (AAU), Africa Centre of Excellence for Water Management (ACEWM) in collaboration with partners, held an international workshop with a theme of “Climate Change and Technology Innovation in Hydro-Environmental Engineering” at Capital Hotel and Spa on the 3rd of July 2023

The workshop brought together the national, regional and global experts to have interactive and deep discussions on the formation of secured and harmonious natural environment in realizing sustainable society through regional and global information exchange for network formation of technology related to environmental engineering.

Abera Endeshaw, Special Advisor for the Minister of Ministry of Water and Energy said that the Ministry is improving policies, strategies and legal frameworks in consideration of the current global, regional and national realities. He further said that new policy framework and operating systems should be designed to overcome the natural and man-made climate change problems currently recurring all over the world.

According to the advisor, it is necessary to be able to involve the private sub-economy and increase the coordination between Water and Sewerage, Telecommunication, Electricity, and Road Authority to jointly develop the infrastructures in a way that considers the future situation.

Ethiopia is a country with 13 months of sunshine, have trans-boundary and boundary rivers, has areas with solar potentials and wind renewable energy. Therefore, it is necessary to study the potential areas and prepare comprehensive projects to address water and energy needs, accelerate development programs, increase job opportunities, and bring about economic growth,” he added.

The advisor finally said that higher education institutions and research institutions are contributing a lot in providing significant and evidence based information in this regard.

Professor Feleke Zewge, Director for ACEWM expressed that water management is the key development challenge of Africa indicating that strong capacity for proper water development and management is required in order to access safe drinking water, adequate sanitation, preventing pollution of water bodies, managing aquatic resources and water under global climate change, water for food and energy security, growing in water demand and cooperating in trans-boundary water basins, etc.

According to the director, ACEWM is strengthening the capacity to accelerate actions for adaptation and resilience to climate change. It thrives to strengthen integrated watershed management, build climate smart cities, harnessing satellite technology information for climate resilience, enhancing water storage and wastewater recycling & reuse, he added.

He also noted that ACEWM is also conducting extensive research on how to manage water in terms of technology, governance, and socio-economic aspects. Ten programs are offered in the Centre where students are doing researches on these problems: “Various research programs are focused on these issues and we are working together with different institutions and partners, such as the Ministry of Water and Energy, Urban water utilities, Private organizations and the business community,” he further said.

He finally indicated that even if Ethiopia is a water tower, for now it has been facing water problems related to population growth, climate change, and lack of developed technologies, and even some parts of the country face physical scarcity of water, some have water but they are facing low economic capacity to manage the water properly and lack of expanding indigenous technologies.

The Centre jointly organized the workshop with Ethiopian Climate Change Working Group (ECCWG) and International Association for Hydro-Environmental Engineering and Research (IAHR) in Ethiopia.

Reporter: Tsion Aysheshim

Photo: Andualem Aseffa

Editor: Abraham Girmay