Haramaya University in partnership with Federal Environment, Forest and Climate Change Commission (Forest Transformation Unit) and woreda partners had undertaken seedlings plantation program at Dengego Model Tree Based Restoration Project Site on July 31, 2021.

The aim of the seedling plantation program was to restore the degraded Dengego area with suitable tree species and reduce potential flooding into Dire Dawa town.

According to Dr. Tessema Toru, staff member of College of Agriculture and Environmental Sciences and coordinator of the project at Haramaya University, the project is funded by Norwegian government through Federal Environment, Forest and Climate Change Commission under close follow up of Forest Transformation Unit. A grant of up to 10 million birr is allocated for the project and has also planned to expand interventions to Kersa Woreda, East Hararghe zone. So far, the project has performed activities such as resources and development map preparation, Training of Trainers (TOT) training for woreda and zone experts, farmers training, seedling production, physical soil and water conservation structures and site preparation for plantation. Currently the project is implemented on 835 ha of land with possibilities of extension to other areas.

During the occasion, 30,000 seedlings were planted out of the total 50,000 target on different land uses within the project command area. Furthermore, innovative approaches with strong basic and action researches are introduced in the intervention area. Currently, the project supports researches related to nursery soil mixture determination and identification and introduction of productive and drought tolerant grass and other fodder species. The project also strives to develop a model for sustainable management of natural resources, which they call it triangular approach.

On the occasion of the seedlings plantation session, Dr. Yisak Yusuf, Vice President for Community Engagement & Enterprise Development, welcomed the community and officials from different governmental offices for their participation in the seedlings plantation program at Dhangago area locally known as Gara Barento. Dr. Yisak further stressed on the importance of natural resources management for sustainable agricultural production and other ecosystem services. He also mentioned the determination and efforts of the University on rehabilitation of degraded area including Lake Haramaya watershed

During the seedling campaign, Ato Alemayehu Eshete, a leader of Natural Resource Process Case team at Haramaya Woreda Agriculture and Natural Resource Office, appreciated the efforts of Haramaya University in providing new technologies and approaches for rehabilitation of the degraded Dengego area, which has multiple effects locally and on downstream area. He promised that the woreda will provide the necessary supports and work together with the University to alleviate land degradation and food insecurity in the project area.
The program was attended by officials and experts from East Hararghe zonal offices, Haramaya Woreda officials and experts, University staff and the community at Biftu Geda kebele.