USAID, RiPPLE Project Launch in Yirgalem

28 Jan 2014

USAID, RiPPLE Project Launch in Yirgalem

Research-inspired Policy and Practice Learning in Ethiopia (RiPPLE) and the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) launch a project dubbed as "The Fate of Hawassa City: Lake Hawassa and her People-Improving Waste Managment". The project launching and Consultative workshop held in Yirgalem town of the South Nations, Nationalities and Peoples Regional State (SNNPR) was attended by close 120 participants representing various stakeholders from Hawassa city.

"The Fate of Hawassa City: Lake Hawassa and her People-Improving Waste Managment" is a two years project funded by the USAID and implemented by RiPPLE aiming at "minimizing unmanaged solid waste water polluting the city environment and the freshwater lake of Hawassa through increased knowledge, capacity building and coordination of all stakeholders in the WaSH sector".

Welcoming the participants RiPPLE Inerim-Executive Director Takele Kassa touched upon the evolution of RiPPLE and introduced the day's workshop objectives and activities. A detailed presentation of RiPPLE's main engagements in the SNNPR was made by Desta Dimtse Coordinator of RiPPLE in the region who also revealed that the overall budget of projects implemented by RiPPLE in the region amount to a total of 18.3 million Ethiopian Birr.

In his opening remarks guest of honor and deputy mayor of Hawassa city, Tewodros Gebiba stressed on the importance of the project which he said is expected to address the burning issue of Lake Hawassa's risk of pollution through action-research involving all stakeholders. He also urged RiPPLE and stakeholders to make sure that the research would be relevant and would bring about positive change to the situation of the city and the lake. He also expressed commitment on part of the city administration to support the implementation of the project in every aspect.

Coordinator of the project Aschalew Sidelel pointed out that as a prerequisite to the launching of the project, RiPPLE has entered in to agreement with four relevant government institutions of SNNPR namely, Bureaus of Finance and Economic Development, Water Resource and Health as well as Natural Resource and Environmental Protection Authority.

As part of the consultative session, different experts and researchers shared their relevant experiences and research findings to the participants.

Hawassa City Municipality made a presentation on "Current Activities of the Municipalities Integrated Solid Waste Management in Hawassa City". It dwelt on overall performance of solid waste disposal and management, about awareness creation activities and community mobilization as well as efficiency and facilities of the municipality.

Another presentation on "Waste Management in Hawassa City and its Link to Lake Hawassa" by a representative of Hawassa City Natural Resource and Environment Protection Office touched upon the many engagements of the office mainly in terms of enforcing applicable proclamations and inparticular in relation to protecting the lake through reducing sediment load, rehabilitation, and environmental impact assessment new projects.

A researcher from Hawassa University on his part gave participants an overview of research activities conducted by his university in relation to waste management in Hawassa city and Hawassa Lake.

A local NGO named Jerusalem Children and Community Development Organization (JeCCDO) through its representative shared its experiences and current engagement in relation to the workshops main agenda.

The presentations by the different panelists arose lots of questions and suggestions by participants. Most of the issues raised during the discussion revolved around the importance of collaborative work between researchers and implementers, on ways of avoiding duplication of efforts and looming dangerous related to urbanization, development projects around Lake Hawassa.

  The project's focal person from USAID Yitayew Abebe in his closing remarks noted that the day's deliberations were fruitful and up to his expectations. He reminded participants the project's focus would remain to be Lake Hawassa and called on the actors to give due emphasis to what is practical and possible. He added that one of the project's main deliverables is the development of a fundable proposal and implementation plan based on the research findings.