Haramaya University to Enhance Drought Resilience of the Lowland Communities

Haramaya University, in collaboration with Bahir Dar University, Laurentein University of the Netherlands, Burao Somaliland University, and the Dutch Ministry of Foreign Affairs, has given Rangeland Management and Fodder Production ToT training from March 28, 2022 to April 8, 2022 to trainers who are from Somaliland and Haramaya University.

Concerning this training, Dr. Yishak Yusuf, Professor Kefyalew Alemayehu, Professor Ebrahim Usman, IR J.H.M. (Astrid) van Rooij, and Mr. Mohamed Musa have shared their exciting expert opinions with us.

Dr. Yishak Yusuf, Vice President for Community Service and Enterprise Development affairs, said the training is designed to reduce the shortage of modern fodder for livestock breeders in Ethiopia and Somaliland. He also said that the training was designed to enable us to work together to prevent the effects of environmental degradation, climate change and human conflict on animal feed.

The training was organized for agricultural and non-agricultural professionals in Somaliland and Haramaya Univeristy so that they can share their experience and knowledge to one another in the field of agriculture, especially on rangeland management and fodder production, according to Dr. Yishak.

Professor Kefyalew Alemayehu, a lecturer and researcher at Bahir Dar University and the coordinator of the project as well as the trainer, said that the project is working with the Dutch government to promote improved practices in grazing land management and use, and fodder development in lowlands. According to Prof. Kefyalew, Haramaya University has been selected to work in collaboration with Bahir Dar University due to its extensive experience in agricultural researches and other related activities, and the nearest location of the University to Buroa Somaliland University.

This training has especial meaning for the people of Somaliland where there is recurrent draught, particularly for pastoralists in the eastern region, who lose lots of their livestock during draught and do not have experience of fodder production as they move from place to place with their livestock, said Professor Ebrahim Usman, a dean of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences in Buroa University in Somaliland and the leader of the trainees’ team, expressing his appreciation and gratitude to Haramaya University for the coordination and nice facilities available for the workshop.

Witnessing that Haramaya University has well developed experience and knowledge in the agricultural and best location for the project, IR J.H.M. (Astrid) van Rooij, the project leader and a senior lecturer in the field of International Development Management/Disaster risk management specialist at VAN HALL larenstein at the University of Applied Science in Netherlands, said that the started relationship between VAN HALL and Haramaya Universities will be strengthened now onwards.

Like other scholars who were in the workshop, Mr. Mohamed Musa, lecturer, researcher and the project coordinator in Haramaya University, believes that the training is expected to facilitate and alleviate the shortage of fodder for the people living in the lowlands and border areas of the country.

In general, the participants and the coordinators have promised to work together to enhance the draught resilience of the lowland community.

The trainees from Somaliland, in their part, said that the training was very impressive and easily understandable because it was supported by field practice. They believe that it enables them to give training on rangeland management and fodder production system. They said that they are ready to give the training to the local communities based on the knowledge and practice gained from the ToT training in Haramaya University. They hope that the training can help them to teach their homeland communities how to conserve the rangelands and produce fodder for their animals in a better way.

The trainees finally expressed their gratitude and thanks to Haramaya University for the wonderful training, the accommodation, and the services provided for them during their stay for sixteen days. They also appreciated the trainers for their father and brotherhood approaches, according to Hamda Mohamed a lecture at Buroa Somaliland University and Dr. Abdirohman Musa Regional coordinator for agriculture and fishery office in Somaliland.

By: Aweke Ayalneh

Camera: Fuad Ahmed