Haramaya University and other universities in Awash and Wabi-Shebele Basins to solve lasting problems of the society.

The 2nd Annual National Workshop of Universities’ Awash and Wabi-Shebele Basins Forum, in which Haramaya University plays a role, was conducted on January 12, 2023, at the Capital Hotel in Addis Ababa.

The forum, established by eleven universities, including Haramaya University, to develop the Awash and Wabi Shebele Rivers, was opened by Dr. Birhanu Megersa Lenjiso, State Minister of Irrigation and Lowland Areas Development.

At the workshop, the forum’s bylaws and 10-year strategic plan, and three articles from the Ministry of Irrigation and Lowland Area Development, GIZ, and Haramaya University were presented, and various resolutions were passed.

State Minister of Irrigation and Lowland Areas Development, Dr. Birhanu Megersa said that universities should help one another in research so that Ethiopia can use its water resources properly and have a lot of work ahead of them in solving the lasting problems of society and making proper use of the vast water resources of the country.

Dr. Birhanu added that the ministry is ready to work with the forum as it will strengthen the development works of the irrigation and lowland areas of the Awash and Wabi Shebele basins so that the citizens in the Awash and Wabi Shebele basins will not be affected by floods and benefit from irrigation development in the summer.

Dr. Jamal Yousuf, President of Haramaya University, stated in his turn that 11 universities located around the two basins established a forum last year and are carrying out various research activities.He also mentioned that the studies and research they do will not only solve the problems of the local society but also be a resource for policymakers.

The forum is believed to free our society from economic and ecological problems, so the eleven universities located in the Awash and Wabi Shebele basins have strengthened their cooperation and will expand the coordination and benefits beyond our country to the neighboring countries.This forum, supported by research results, is also expected to allow the development of our country’s natural resources, according to Dr. Jemal Yousuf.

University presidents, representatives, partner organizations, and other experts that participated in the forum pointed out that, through the research that the universities carry out on the two watersheds, they should focus on activities that ensure the benefit of the community.

Finally, it was stated that MedaWallabu University will organize the next round of the Awash andWabiShebele River Basin Forum.

By: Shemsedin Mohammed

Photographs: Tewdiros Lishan