High level consultative workshop and field trip was organized by JU and MoWE


Jimma University with the framework of University & Industry Linkage (UIL) with the Ethiopian Ministry of Water and Electricity (MoWI) has been working on ecohydrology and integrated watershed management by involving stakeholders in the Omo-Gibe catchment. With the partnership framework a consultation workshop and field visit were conducted on 02/01/2022 with the presence of H.E Minister Dr. Eng. Habtamu Etefa, H.E. State Minister Dr. Abrha Adugna, H.E. Dr. Jemal Abaifta (President of Jimma University), and higher officials of Jimma Zone and Jimma City. In his opening speech (H.E. Dr. Jemal), welcomed all participants and briefed them what has been done on the catchment for the past decades. In his briefing under the umbrella of UIL, researches and pilot projects have been conducted. The findings of the study showed that Omo-Gibe catchment is prone to erosion, landslide, pollution and limited (undiversified) livelihood. The well perceived complex problems in the catchment, needs multifaceted solutions. Therefore, business-as-usual approach cannot solve the problems. It needs thinking outside the box by introducing novel approaches and best practices. As a result, within the framework of UIL, we introduced ecohydrology with nature-based solution while scaling up the best practices emanated from our previous watershed management practices. This consultation meeting with field trip was organized to share information where we are now, what are the bottlenecks and the way forward and the meeting was officially opened. Mr. Yohannes Zerihun (Director for
Ecohydrology) presented about ecohydrology nature-based solutions and the pilot interventions (integrated urban waste management with vertical agriculture and coffee effluent treatment) showed a promising result. Dr. Abebe Beyene (the Ecohydrology project coordinator) was also presented and highlighted major identified threats with their potential solutions. After discussion, H.E. Minster Dr. Eng. Habtamu informed all the stakeholders including Jimma University, that the ministry is fully committed to play a leading role to implement and scale-up piloted interventions. The ministry will work in partnership with Jimma University. JU will be the leading university in conducting research, capacity building, and piloting not only on Omo-Gibe but also in the Baro-Akobo watershed. Both the minister and the president of JU expressed their full engagement and commitment to tackle the complex problems while enhancing development and prosperity. They called upon all stakeholder involvement and engagement in the partnership.